Try this to place some iPhone restrictions around your screen time

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices certainly have made my life as a content strategist easier. But iPhone restrictions around my use can certainly help my mental well being.

Over the years, these devices have helped me:

And new features keep getting rolled out that can help us step up content creation even more. Cinematic mode is just one example.

Why do we need iPhone restrictions?

For all the accessibility and improved, easy-to-use tools the iPhone offers us, it’s also hard to put it down. Watching a Netflix movie while on your phone the whole time? Yup, that’s a thing. Constantly checking metrics, that’s a thing, too. Responding to emails and messages that come in at all hours of the day? Check.

Some industries and certain teams can certainly be more prone to issues with this. When I worked for a media company with a 24-hour operation, somebody was always working and that often meant somebody was always emailing. It might be 2 a.m., but that’s the middle of their shift.

Certainly, they can use some of these tricks on scheduling email. Let’s cover these next here…

How to schedule email for delayed delivery

Here’s how I do this in Outlook. I reply like any other time I reply to an email, but then before clicking SEND I go to OPTIONS, then on the right click on DELAY DELIVERY. On the pop-up pick the time and date when you want to send it. Easy breezy. This is your computer’s time zone, so keep that in mind when emailing people in other time zones. There’s still some math involved.

For it to work, make sure your computer and Outlook stay on between now and the time of sending. Obviously, you’ll have to stay connected to the Internet as well.

delayed email delivery in outlook

How to schedule emails in Gmail

This function is available within Gmail as well. Click the little arrow next to “send” and then pick the time. to send.

schedule in gmail


iPhone restrictions – what you can do

There certainly are technology solutions to restrict iPhone use, but just like we turned them on, we can also turn them off. So whatever iPhone restrictions you put on yourself, they need to be voluntary and carried through by you.

I’ve tried a couple of different ways:

  • No iPhone after 6 p.m.
  • iPhone not allowed in the bedroom

The first option, the time-based one, worked well on some days, but it interferes with my experience when watching hockey games. I like to interact with other fans on Twitter during the game. Sometimes, I’m still at the gym after 6 and need the phone there for my workout app.

The no iPhone (or iPad) allowed in bedroom practice however has worked best for me. Here’s how I do that: When I go to bed, I plugin all my devices outside of the bedroom, just far enough to make it an inconvenience to get up and grab them. But consider keeping them close enough to be able to get to them in case of an emergency.

Previously, I placed my devices right there on the nightstand, which would then prompt me to check them every second or so that I was awake. “Oh, I wonder what’s going on on Twitter? There’s an email, so I might as well read it.”

And then you can’t get back to sleep for a while.

Moving the devices out of reach has worked for me. I don’t scroll my phone while in bed. When I’m in bed, I’m there to go to sleep.

These mobile devices certainly have helped  in the content creation process, but there needs to be a balance. Why do you think people used to call the Blackberry, the Crackberry? It’s hard to put down, so we have to make that choice consciously, strategically and willingly.

This method has worked for me and I get much better rest now and am ready to create content when I get up.

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