It’s a beautiful morning, the sun is delicately shining through the window, birds are singing outside and a breeze of fresh air makes its way through the curtains. You wake up, barely open your eyes, roll over and it looks like you’re about to stretch a little, when actually your reaching for your phone…
See how it ruined that beautiful morning only with a few words? We have to check the latest news, gossip, Instagram following, e-mails and so on before we get the first breath of fresh air for the day. We are so addicted to our smartphones, that it’s the first thing we do in the morning. Statistics show that 80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. Probably the other 20% don’t have a fully functional smartphone – just sayin’.
With this addiction growing more and more every day, I think it’s time to seriously talk about how to break up with your smartphone in the morning.
Don’t Charge It In the Evening
I guess we all do that: drain the battery throughout the day and in the evening, we plug the phone and let it charge throughout the night, next to our bed. But what if you don’t change it throughout the night and you do that in the morning?
Waking up to a
Charge It Somewhere Else
… but not on your nightstand. If you do insist to charge your phone during the night, leave it somewhere else but not in your bedroom. This might give you some mild anxiety – I know it did to me. Honestly, it was more difficult for me to break up with my addicting habit of scrolling through social media right before I went to bed, rather than in the morning. But more about that on a different article.
Related: Things To Do Once You Wake Up
I’ve learnt this from my Dad. He gets loads of phone calls and since he doesn’t want to be disturbed too early in the morning or too late in the evening, he leaves the phone in the kitchen or downstairs.
But… my alarm clock!
This is the most common excuse ever to keep your phone next to your head. And if you’re too a technology addict, there are options; devices like a Fitbit or Google Home have alarms options included. So either go with a traditional alarm clock or with another digital device, there’s no need to keep your phone next to you during the night.
I personally switched to MiBand 3 for a few months and I really love the alarm it has. I don’t need my phone and it’s not like I can get lost scrolling through the settings of my fitness band.
Simply Don’t Touch It
This sounds like the dumbest piece of advice ever. But it worked for me.
I gave myself a mental order to not touch my phone first thing I woke up the next day. Even if my first instinct was to grab it, I remembered what my goal was and I let it down. It went so well that I almost forgot it at home.
Of course, I still grab it first thing in the morning every now and then, but it rarely happens now. I noticed I do it when I’m really lazy and I don’t want to get out of bed right away.
Track Your Wasted Time
When you grab your phone in the morning, turn on the timer as well. Leave it on until you actually put it down to brush your teeth or something else that requires both hands.
So… how much time you spent on your phone this morning? I highly doubt is 5 minutes… probably it’s over 15 minutes. My morning routine lasts 15 minutes, I get to catch the bus in less than that.
Just think of all those (productive and useful) things you could do while scrolling through literally nothing.
Of course, there are apps for that!
I personally love Forest app. Forest app is actually a Pomodoro technique app which helps you stay away from your phone while your forest of trees is growing. You just set a timer and while it counts down, a tree is growing in your forest. And the best part of this is that they plant an actual tree when you reach certain levels.
iPhones also have something called guided access. I still have to learn how to master it, but what it basically does it helps you limit your access to your phone on different apps by blocking certain functionalities.
Make It Public
This might be a total coincidence, but one evening I tweeted that the next morning I won’t grab my phone first thing in the morning. And… guess what?! I didn’t do it!
It might be the fear of embarrassing yourself in ‘public’ on social media and letting the people think your not a person of your word. Who cares as long as it works? It worked for me, so for sure, it could work for some of you too.
Turn Off the Notifications
I have to admit that this move made me feel a little uncomfortable. I thought that I will feel anxious if I didn’t have my notifications always on for all apps. It felt like such a risky move.
I turned off social media notifications and pretty much on all the other apps. I only left messages, e-mails and WhatsApp. And the phone calls of course.
Surprisingly, I did not even notice that my notifications were off. Now I can check social media when I want to – without lifting my phone and scroll though it when it beeps for the slightest update.
Having the notifications turned off, won’t make them pop when you turn on your Wi-Fi or mobile data on. When I used to have them on, when I was waking up and turning on my internet connection, my phone would ring for a minute or so with all the notifications I got throughout the night. With them off, you can check the apps when you want and if you remember to do it.
Delete the Apps or Move Them
I am so used with the way the app icons are layered on my phone’s screen, that sometimes I find myself opening an app and using it without even realising. I formed such an automatic habit of using them that it scares me.
If you are brave enough, you can delete the apps that cause the most addiction. You can eventually create a shortcut or bookmark from your phone’s browser and you can sill access them, but it will be a little more difficult and the experience of using them won’t be the same as with an app. This might trigger off the need or excitement of scrolling thought certain apps.
If you’re like me and are super fond of how and where your apps are placed, try to move social media apps (or any other apps) on a folder on the last screen of the phone. This should make them harder to access and similar to the above option, might turn you off from using them.
Last but Not Least
As I previously mentioned, I still have mornings when I grab my phone and get lost scrolling though cat videos. I usually do it during the weekend, when I know I don’t have to get out of bed right away. But this is now the exception, not the rule – as it used to be.
“Treating yourself” with a morning scroll every now and then (without ruining your schedule) won’t kill anyone. After all, we all feel the need to stay “in the loop” .
Do you reach to grab your phone first thing in the morning?