Don’t Underestimate Your Phone Alarm

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.

Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.

It is close at hand…

Joel 2:1

This summer, my teen son wanted to pursue a goal. He made a great plan and decided to work on it for 15 minutes each day.

I wanted to encourage him, so I offered to help him set up some reminders. “Do you want me to print out a calendar so you can mark off each day?” I asked hopefully. “Or would you like me to buy you a little planner so you can keep track of what you’ve done? Do you want to start the process today?”

“Mom, it’s done,” he said. “I set the alarm on my phone for 7:30 every morning. I won’t forget.”

He said that because he’s too nice to say this: Duh, Mom. Hello, your phone?


I tend to underuse and underestimate technology. Most times, I stand by my old-school ways and revel in my love of paper. But sometimes, I’m caught in a duh moment.

My favorite types of organizing are Time Management and Behavioral Systems—ways to set yourself up for success. I offer all kinds of related ideas in my books and employ many of them myself. But I’ve underestimated the phone alarm.

It all started with this post about setting an alarm to remind yourself to pause and breathe and have a little talk with Jesus. I loved doing this. It was so good for my soul, and I’m resuming this habit now that it’s fall (when routines once again reign supreme in the Upton household).

Now I’m looking around thinking, what else can I set an alarm for? How else can I clear out that “Oh, I’ve got to remember that!” spiritual clutter?

Here are some of my rough ideas… are any of these ringing bells for you?

  • I think about food too much. If I set an alarm for my lunchtime and/or an afternoon snack, maybe I wouldn’t think so much about what I will eat and when I will eat it.
  • I’m supposed to take one medication in the morning, one in the evening, and use special eye drops at those times and at least three times in between! I’m particularly bad about the eye drops… alarm?
  • I tend to get so into work—and then after school play—that I tend to forget to make dinner. (And, I hate cooking, so that doesn’t help either.) Perhaps I could set an alarm for that?
  • Maybe I could set a once-a-week alarm to help me remember to honor my hubby’s love language in a special way… perhaps an “out-of-the-blue” phone call.
  • I could set a Tuesday/Thursday alarm for 5 minutes before we’re supposed to be out the door for Tae Kwon Do practice… and piano lessons…


Obviously I wouldn’t try all of these ideas at once—goodness gracious that would be a lot of alarms—but they’re interesting thoughts…

Now, I’d love to hear yours! What are some ways that you use your phone alarm?

Most of all, don’t forget about using your phone alarm to remind to you stand for a moment in God’s presence as I wrote about before, or to remind you to pray or read God’s Word. None of these little things remotely compare to the Big Thing—our relationship with God.

And in the midst of all of our intentional living, we should be listening up for the Big Alarm, the one coming from the Holy Hill, the trumpet that will blow when Jesus comes back. As Joel says, the day of the Lord is coming; it is close at hand. Come, Lord Jesus, come!


Take the challenge:

Set an alarm for something. See how it works. And tell me about it!


Please share these ideas with other moms!  Here’s a Pin-friendly Image:



And if you’d like more Time Management ideas just for you, check out my first book, Organizing You.

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