Put al your important apps on the home screen. Such as phone, sms, Snapguide, FB, whatsapp, etcetera.
Disable all sound notifications. Except for incoming calls and your agenda.
Only set the "badge app icon" active.
When something happens in an app or a message is arrived. You will hear no sound. But it is visible by the badge icon.
Now you are in complete control. For example, at work. Look for new messages when you are having a coffee break or having lunch.
Believe me. Nothing is so important that you must whatsapp back within a minute or so. When it is really important, the person will call you directly.
Works also great on a birthday party, or when you are having a date for example.
Of course, this method also works on other smartphones.