April 15, 2020


Minute read

Create Your Sea Change: How to Use Your Phone for Good, not Evil

What is the first thing you do in the morning? Does that first thing bring you one step closer to your purpose?

Do you know that for most people, they almost instantly grab for their phone? 

Okay, I might have just made you feel a LITTLE guilty. 


But my question is — how long does it take to reach for a device? Will that email, those notifications, those texts truly make a difference in our first few minutes (or even hours) of waking?

The answer, my friends, is that you have the power to NOT start your morning with your device. You have the power to start your day from a place of power, of potential, rather than submission to your notifications, and feeling a major case of #FOMO for what happened since yesterday — or an hour ago.

While you might think that not checking emails, social profiles  or voicemail in the morning could be detrimental to your business or personal relationships — I’m here to tell you that ignoring your device for the first hour or so, may actually be transformative in improving them.  

In our MAPS Life Balance Assessment we talk about Mindfulness, Activation, Purpose and Surrender, and how these 4 tenants, when consciously applied to our decisions, allow us to rewire our brains. 

So, let’s get down to business. 

Activation is defined as making conscious or subconscious decisions to put something into motion. It’s about converting something into a reactive form (for my chemists out there!). 

Every choice that we make, every time we activate, we create some sort of reaction on both a micro and macro level. 

The MICRO choice of picking our phone up right away in the morning leads to a MACRO habit of subconscious phone usage. 


I’m not saying you need to bolt out of bed at 5AM every day and run 4.7 miles. But I am asking you to question your habits and give yourself the power to create new mindful and purpose-driven rituals. 

The barrage of NOISE does not make it easy on our poor brains. I fully intend  to flood your ears with more brain-chatter at a later date, but until then… 

This week, I challenge you to do THREE THINGS. 

1.  Put your device on airplane mode one hour before you go to sleep. This will halt all the notifications we would otherwise be aching to see upon waking up. See if you can resist grabbing for your phone and turning off airplane mode for ONE HOUR after waking. To replace the scrolling, reading and sending, try sitting in quiet meditation with your tea or coffee (you can also check out the “tea meditation” track on the MAPS website). Post meditation, pull out a piece of paper, or one of those journals you have been hanging onto all these years, and write down a BIG goal you have. Then below it, write down the three things you can, and will accomplish today that will help you move towards that goal. They can be MICRO steps. 

2.  Download the Moment, or OFFTIME application onto your phone. These free apps allow you to see how much time you’re spending (ahem, wasting) on any given app. I love OFFTIME because it allows you to choose how long you want to avoid your phone. Let’s say I choose to go “offtime” for 30 minutes,  if I pick-up my phone, it INSTANTLY sounds like it is about to self-detonate. Pretty cool, eh? 

3.  Choose ONE of the lock screens I’ve included below, and screenshot it to save as your phone background. They’re funny, they’re cheeky, and they’re helpful. 

Here’s the deal. This is going to be super hard. I know that. Your current habit did not form overnight. So, why fall into self-loathing when we can’t successfully change something in a day?! 

But if you’re willing to put in the effort and stick with this, it will be worth it and — dare I say — transformative. As the french say, petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid” — “little by little the bird builds his nest”.

So have patience, friends. Let me know how I can support you in your journey. 

With love 


About the Author: Laura Araujo

Passionate about accessible education and evidence-based wellness, Laura founded The MAPS Institute, an educational wellness editorial and platform. Aside from her passion for research and educating, Laura is a classically trained vocalist, sound therapist, and a practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga and Restorative Yoga. She is the creator of the MAPS (Mindfulness, Activation, Purpose, and Surrender) philosophy and is in continual pursuit of helping her students and herself find balance amid the chaos around and within them. When not sifting through Nature Magazine, complaining about their paywalls, she enjoys trying new wine varietals, experimenting in the kitchen, riding her bicycle (sometimes cross-country), and spending time with her husband Charlie, cockapoo Miles, and expected baby girl, Ella.  Click here to follow the MAPS Institute on social media.



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