How to Tweak Do Not Disturb for Ultimate Productivity

Karl Dusenbery
3 min readOct 1, 2022


Get a lot of notifications? Want to be able to go into focus mode? 🎧 (or just take a nap 😴while still staying in the loop at work?) Well, Android has a lot of ways to customize Do Not Disturb (DND) just for that purpose!

Remote Worker Use Case

Take the use case of working remotely. You want to go on a run and the only notification that you want to know about is if it’s an urgent work matter that came up through a Slack message or an email.

What if you wanted to take a nap? (or sleep in? 🛏️), but don’t want to get woken up to all of your notifications? You would want t ochoose to only hear a sound for important, work-related, notifications. For this, you would want to utilize what I am going to call “Do Not Disturb Passthrough,” or “DND Passthrough” for short.

Explaining DND Passthrough

In Android, there is actually a setting that allows you to choose exactly what notifications “pass through” Do Not Disturb! I will be using a Google Pixel running on Android 13 for this example, and it is referred to as “Override Do Not Disturb” in the Settings.

Setting Up a Work Gmail to Override DND

  1. Navigate to the home page of Settings and tap on “Apps.”
    You would think to start, in “Notifications” but no-no! 😂

2. Find the Gmail app.

3. Tap “Notifications.

4. Tap “Mail” under your work email.
Be careful not to turn off the toggle to the right.

5. Scroll down to “Override Do Not Disturb” and toggle it on.

That’s it, now you will hear a sound if a work email comes in. Now, go take that nap!

More Use Cases…

Slack work chats:

Ever used Slack for work chats? If so, you may be familiar with how to schedule and prioritize notifications in the Slack system itself.

So, for example, if you set Slack to only send you notifications during work hours, say 9–5, but you plan on sleeping in past 9 one morning, or take a nap in the middle of the day, wouldn’t you want an urgent Slack direct message, mention, etc. to wake you up to get back to work?

  1. Tap into “Messages and mentions.”

2. Scroll down and toggle “Override Do Not Disturb.”

That’s it! Now, go ahead and sleep in.

Wear OS Smartwatches Too!

If you’re familiar with how you can turn on and off specific apps in the Wear OS app, you’ll love that using “Override Do Not Disturb” won’t affect what you have all set up there and will still buzz your wearable too!

Wear OS app
Watch notifications toggle