Recently, while I was re-reading Chris Bailey’s ‘The Productivity Project’, I came across this study that felt like a sudden reality check:
A recent study from IDC, a U.S. market research company, found that 80 percent of eighteen-to forty-four-year-olds check their smartphones within the first fifteen minutes of waking up.
And, I think that study is valid for almost every smartphone-carrying-Homosapien in the world! You would agree, I bet. How many minutes/hours do you lay in bed after you wake up (probably by the alarm on your smartphone) and then picked up the same smartphone to go through an endless loop of your favourite apps on it? Whatsapp/Messenger >> Instagram >> Email >> Snapchat >> … >> Instagram >> … I call it the Infinity Smartphone Feed.
The Infinity Smartphone Feed counteracts the purpose of having an alarm to wake you up. But I realize, some people are smart enough to get their way around it by setting an alarm 15 minutes before their usual one so they can go through their morning ritual of daily infinity smartphone feed. Well for those, here are a few more lines from the same book:
Research shows that your brain’s prefrontal cortex — the part of your brain responsible for creative thinking — is the most active immediately after you wake up. That means that even if you’re low on energy after you wake up, if you do a lot of creative work, you may want to consider working in the morning instead of when you have the most energy, focus, and motivation.
Now you may want to reconsider this short morning routine of yours. I realized the solution to this issue might be quite simple. Its a two-step process that will help you save those precious 15 minutes in the morning.
Step 1: Get yourself a sexy alarm clock! I mean it. It should be a good one. Probably the best one. Cause if it is a dull-looking one, you would probably go back to your phone.
Step 2: Develop a habit* of keeping your smartphone 10 meters** away from your bed: probably across the room or even better, in some other room.
PRO TIP: If your daily morning smartphone ritual consists of some creative feed or a daily To-Do list, you may reconsider scheduling it during your breakfast or on some other device as you don’t want to get stuck in the endless loop of these apps that gratify your dopamine every day.
*Notice how I said ‘Develop a habit’ rather than simply ‘Do it’. Somethings take time.
**The10 meters distance is just a number I made up. But remember that greater the distance the more friction it adds to this habit of ‘getting to your phone’ first thing in the morning.
Takeaway: Morning hours are your creative hours. Do not waste them on your smartphone after you wake up. Get yourself an awesome Alarm Clock!