Today a new version of Pause For goes live on the App Store and Play Store introducing streaks and reminders! We want it to be easy to make Pause For a habit, and there’s no better way to build a habit than to do it every day!

For me, the day is made or lost in the first actions, so I start my day without my phone. I use one of the Pause For testing phones, which has no SIM card and only necessary apps, as my phone through my morning routine. 

screenshot of Android reminder menu


While I could use my main phone and tell myself not to get distracted by any of the games, social media apps, or notifications on there, it’s difficult to gather the mental energy required to be that disciplined at 6am. Instead, my morning-phone has only the apps I use in my morning routine. Everything else has been removed, and all notifications have been turned off. This keeps me from drifting in the crucial first hours of the day when I’m laying the foundation for what my day will look like. It’s kind of a weird system, and if you’re not a mobile developer, you’re less likely to have excess phones lying around the house, but it works well for me.

But inevitably, we all have to pick up our real phones. The ones with all the notifications and places to scroll. I have to bring my real phone to the office to start my workday. And it’s here that I have a problem I need solved. I do need to have a real phone that has a SIM card and full functionality, and I do need to bring it to work. But what I don’t need is a distraction to start my workday. The same way the first few actions of the day are the most important, the first few actions at work determine what kind of workday I’ll have. And when I enter my password on my laptop and see that loading bar slowly filling up, nothing feels more natural than popping open Instagram real quick for something to do while I wait.

screenshot of iOS reminder menu


And that’s where Pause For reminders have made the difference. Now in Pause For, you can set a time to be reminded to pause. I have mine set every day at 8am. Typically I get into the office around 8:30, and when I open my phone I have a notification waiting for me from Pause For, reminding me to start my workday in a productive, helpful mindset instead of a distracted one. Tapping on the notification takes me directly into a pause with my default cause and length, and just like that I’m off my phone and focusing on the work ahead.

I built this feature for myself and my specific need, but I also built it to solve the problem I’d heard from many users.

“I just don’t think about it.”

“The time I really need it is the time I’m least likely to use it.”

Certainly streaks and reminders won’t completely fix those problems, and at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the decision, but hopefully this is a step toward making that decision easier.

I use Pause For to start my workday focused.

Do you use Pause For for family dinner? Set your reminder to start a 45-minute pause at 7pm. One quick tap makes the phones go away and supports a cause.

Getting home from work exhausted and flopping on the couch to watch TikToks for 2 hours? I’ve been there. Set a reminder for a 20 minute pause at 5pm so when you open your phone, you’ll remember to spend a little time practicing piano instead of getting sucked into the couch.

You can customize the time of day, which days of the week, the length of the pause, and the cause you’d like to support. And with streaks now being tracked in your profile, there’s an extra bit of motivation to stick to your goals. The addition of streaks goes along with reminders, and for me they both just come down to routine. I either do things every day, or I stop doing them altogether. Streaks help make staying off your phone routine.

I’d love to hear what you think of this addition, and what ideas you have for the next one. As always, feel free to reach out with feedback! And if you’re curious about what’s coming down the line, right now I’m working on a system for unlimited pause lengths.

Happy pausing,

Samuel Dowd

Author Samuel Dowd

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