iPhone circa 2011
My iPhone wallpaper circa 2011

Few years ago, I decided to ditch my smartphone and switch to a dumb phone. What started as a personal statement against the high cost of the service and the devices turned-out to be a big relief with unexpected benefits.

According to data analytics companies such as eMarketer and Nielsen, US adults spent an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018. Since, I don't use a smartphone, what do I do with my 3 hours and 35 minutes?

  1. I'm taking classes:

In fall of 2018, I enrolled in a Juris Doctor program. With my personal and professional responsibilities, I can only enroll on a part-time basis. This is the equivalent of two three-credits classes every semester. Preparing for classes and assignments is quite demanding. The rule of thumb is to spend two hours preparation for each hour spent on class. This amount to an average of about 1 hour and 30 minutes everyday.

  1. I'm learning Piano:

While getting ready to start law school, I decided to pick up two new hobbies (piano and learning new languages) to help with the anticipated stress that will come with school. I have never had music classes nor played an instrument before. When, a friend gave me (to my kids to be honest) a piano, I jumped on the opportunity. The first song I learned was "Greensleeves", a classic and a very basic melody arranged by Hugh Sung (via lynda.com). I'm still perfecting it and planning to move next to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, a piano cover by Lisa Witt (via pianote).

  1. I'm perfecting my Spanish:

Thanks to Darija and French, I already know quite few words and sentences in Spanish. I can easily find my way home if I'm ever lost in Cancún. However my goal is to be fluent in Spanish by the end of law school.

Spanish is a fun language to learn. It is also the second language worldwide in term of native speakers after Mandarin Chinese. While eating breakfast, every morning, I spend about 15 minutes on Duolingo, a free language platform. It's a short amount of time, but very effective to build and stick to a new habit. 

  1. And I'm making money:
    This is my favorite productive use of my time. In addition to my job as librarian, I also run my solo company AYYOO SERVICES LLC designing and maintaining websites. It's a great way for me to stay up-to-date with web technologies and refresh my skills. It is also a wonderful source for additional income.

Although I'm not using a smartphone, I still enjoy infinite scrolling social media platforms and auto played Youtube videos. I just prefer to do it on my own term and on 15-inch monitor which makes it harder to take with you everywhere.