Reclaim your Day
Checking out of the morning Phone-Check Cycle
Question – Do you check your phone first thing in the morning?
If you do, you are in good company.
According to research by IDC and sponsored by Facebook, more than 80% or 4/5 smartphone users check their phones before brushing their teeth or getting out of bed in the morning.
This week I started an experiment on myself: I would check my phone only after I had already finished my meditation and yoga practice.
Here’s how I did my experiment:
3 Tips to Checking Out of the Morning Phone Check Cycle
1. Charge your phone across the room, and put it on airplane mode
If you charge your phone, or keep it next to you in the bed, the temptation to reach over for a even just a quick check can be just too much. Forcing yourself to physically get out of bed to check your phone, brings this habit into much more conscious awareness and control. Make it a conscious choice to check your phone, rather than a habit on auto-pilot
2. Choose a Habit to start instead: Meditate, Read, Do Sun Salutations, Journal, Exercise
Choose something that your highest self would like to do every day. This could reading, writing, meditating, exercising, staring off into space…Do it consciously for 5 mins, 30 mins, 90 mins….choose something that is easily attainable for you, so that you are setting yourself up for success.
I use Insight timer in the most simple way possible. I put a timer on for 30 mins everyday. Once I complete that time, it tracks my progress and celebrates me and the hundreds of thousands of others who are meditating at the same time as me old over the world. Knowing others are doing this as well is also motivating for me.
3. Hold yourself accountable: Tell other people about your experiment
This week I told everyone in my community house about what I was doing. It helped us all to reflect on our somewhat unconscious morning habits. It also became a but of silly joke and conversation topic. But in reality, what it did, was help me keep me accountable to my commitment to this experiment. I highly highly highly recommend that you do this with a friend, partner, or at least share with people you care about that you are trying this as an experiment.
Here’s what I found:
1) It’s hard to break this cycle
Honest truth -t it was actually really hard.
Its become a daily habit to scroll my phone first thing in the morning, For 30-45 minutes sometimes.
I want to connect, to see what I’ve missed, to know what’s been happening with the world around me, and to be in the know about what I need to do, respond to and/or catch up on.
and i get joy out of it.
It’s a dopamine hit and I know it.
There is definitely an addictive quality to the relationships most of us have with our phones. And this is a worldwide phenomena.
Taking a break from this habit this week has felt truly overwhelming at times.
2) The benefits of breaking the cycle far outweigh the cost
Persisting with my commitment to this experiment has been well worth it:
The most stand-out benefit is that I began to reclaim my day.
I often begin my days feeling like I’ve fallen behind. I get stressed and overwhelmed by the things I’ve got to do, by the things I’ve missed out on or haven’t done yet. and if I’m truly honest with myself, by other people that I’m comparing myself with.
I often feel like I’m in a hurry, late or need to rush to catch up.
This week instead of beginning my day with this feeling, I began my days feeling more relaxed, present, spaciousness, slow and at ease.
Taking a break from the rush of streaming notifications and messages, has helped me to spend more quality time in dedication to my practice, my thoughts and my plans for the day ahead.
I feel like I am more in alignment with the person who I want to become.
I’ve learned that just because my phone lights up, does not mean that something super important or un-missable is happening. I can let it be.
Essentially, I’ve been able to move from a more reactive approach to my day to a more proactive one.
and if I can do it, then so can you.