Using Downtime in iOS 12 for a Productive AM

When Screen Time and Downtime were announced at WWDC I thought they were cool ideas for families but I didn’t see myself getting in to it (I don’t have kids). I also sleep just fine at night even if I play with my phone right before bed. It’s a habit and one that I’m ok letting myself do.

That said, I find the most important part of my day to focus is first thing over my cup of coffee. It’s when I should be going through Things to sort my day and figure out which tasks I need to tackle. I started experimenting with Downtime in iOS 12 and allowing myself only access to productive apps like Things, Mint for financial review, and checking the weather for a good morning routine. I don’t even alllow email just yet. I have to say this is a refreshing thought. It’s easy how fast my mind can wander and end up on News for an hour or buried in that email I have to deal with later. Already I’ve caught myself clicking on ‘less productive’ apps out of habit and it’s nice to see the little white page reminding me to turn around.

Downtime is a bit buggy this early on but I’m going to try to stick with it. I thought I would share in case others hadn’t thought to employ this in the morning.


I’m doing this too! Set it for 7 am – 4 pm and allowed most of my work apps, so I’m just not tempted by default to open apps like Twitter

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I hope we get a downtime toggle option in Control Center soon. I would love to be able to activate it on a whim when I need to get things done around the office.


I set something like this up today. Are any of you seeing Safari in the Always Allowed app List? I was browsing the web and ran into a time’s-up notification. I would like Safari to be always available as one of my whitelisted apps but it’s actually not there at all in my long list.

I’m finding strange behavior in Safari, I don’t find it in the “always allowed” section which makes sense. It is available, but going into websites results in a time’s up page for every website I visit (this is exacerbated with page redirects, but may be fixed out of beta). I haven’t found a way to whitelist an important site for myself while not allowing distractions like twitter for instance.

On a related note, I’d love an option on the time’s up page to quickly add an app or website to my allowed list to speed up whitelisting

Why does it make sense for it not to be in the Always Allowed section? Every other app is there, I think.

Good point, I should have qualified that statement

I think Apple’s aim was to say - “safari is always available, but only certain user-selected websites should be whitelisted during downtime”

This way you could allow yourself access to Safari to log into your bank, check the weather, or read your local headlines, while still blocking access to twitter, facebook, and other non-productive websites for instance.

The problem with my theory is I see no way to whitelist selected websites. So when I go into safari I am met with a “time’s up” limit for every website I point to.

To your point, I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect a way to grant yourself access to all of Safari, if you want it, just like any other app.

Definitely feels incomplete re Safari. Unfortunately it seems on public beta 2, screen time just crashes on launch repeatedly so can’t even tell if it got changed!