Morning Routine + Game-Changing Phone Feature

Full moon sunrise.JPG

Good morning! Sorry this is a day later than normal, I’m on a mini-(half-working)-vacay out in the desert with some girlfriends and it just didn’t happen to get this recorded and up in time. But I hope this will be a practical, helpful post + episode for you as creating and honing my morning routine has been something I’ve tried to master for a long time and I finally feel like I have a handle on it, surprisingly thanks to technology.

A couple weeks ago I knew I needed to take a break from IG. I absolutely despise how much time I spend on that app, even though I have tried to be very intentional about limiting the amount of people I follow, and I mute most peoples stories besides the ones I know I want to see. But the bottom line is, when I want to avoid a task, or out of sheer mindless habit, I find myself reaching for my phone and scrolling and going down rabbit holes I have no business being in. So I took a week off (minus popping in to post one day because of the last episode), and every time I do take a break, it’s truly the most glorious experience. My screen time goes way down, I start to train my brain not to habitually reach for my phone if I find myself putting off a task, and I really do feel happier. I know all this implies I should probably just quit it forever haha, but I do think there’s a way to have a happy medium, since I really like the ability to keep up with friends and family, and want to use it for my own work and to share content that is hopefully valuable to those who come across it. I’m taking steps to get to a better place with that, and more on that to come perhaps, but for now, back to how this relates to my morning routine.

Before I get to the technology feature that I believe is making all this possible, I think what was crucial for me was deciding to design and plan out what my ideal morning would look like. So I sat down one Sunday night to plan for my Monday morning, and ended up creating a morning schedule + routine that both excited me and felt like the most peaceful and beneficial way to start my day. It went a little something like this:

6am - Wake up
6 - 7 - Wake up routines + Quiet Time (I go into more detail on the podcast about what this entails)
7 - 7:45 - Get ready for walk, walk around island for 20-40 min listening to podcast or audio book
7:45 - 8:15 - Get ready for the day
8:15 - 8:30 - Make breakfast
8:30 - 9 - Eat / read / start working

Of course it doesn’t look exactly like this every morning, and I haven’t managed to get up RIGHT at 6am a single day yet, but I do my best to at least start the wake-up process then and be up by 6:20ish so I can get my day started as early as possible, knowing I’ll be happy if I make the time for myself before having to jump into my tasks for the day.

The idea of having this type of morning routine isn’t new for me, and yet I hadn’t quite figured out a way to make it happen consistently until now. And I really believe a big part of that is thanks to the Down Time feature on my iPhone. You can find it on your iPhone by going to Settings —> Screen Time —> Down Time and it’s there that you can set up time frames for each day where your phone grays out all the apps (except ones that you choose to always allow) and silences all notifications. I like it better than the Bedtime feature or DND or just putting your phone on airplane mode because it’s very customizable, you can still get calls or use certain apps if you really want, and I love that it turns on and off at the same time that you set it for every day. Currently I have mine set to be on down time from 10pm - 8am Sun - Thurs and 11pm - 8am Fri and Sat. And I now find myself looking forward to that time that I’m forced off my phone and absolutely love not being bothered by notifications or useless scrolling for the first 1.5 to 2 hours of my day. It’s honestly the best.

I’m trying to re-create my relationship with my phone, and recognize it as a tool that I control that has the ability to enhance my life if I let it, rather than let my phone control me, with notifications constantly popping up and pulling me away from the present moment. And one of my favorite ways is by not letting my phone have the first say on my day. So I wanted to share this feature in case it’s something that could possibly be helpful to you too.

Products I use in the morning:

Sara B.