How Much Power are we Giving Away to our Phones in the Morning?

phone addiction

How Much Power are you Giving Away to your Phone in the Morning?

I recently listened to a talk on how morning routines and phones affect us. The speaker said: “Most people give away their sovereignty and power in the morning, the first thing they do is grab their phones to get their dopamine fix and rewire their brains. Training them to be distracted all the time, learning to just respond to peoples demand all the time. ” This really shocked me, I never put much thought into it but it is something I do every day. I actually can’t remember the last time I woke up and didn’t look at my phone right away. I couldn’t help but wonder is this why I’m not productive at times?

By the end of the talk the speaker challenged the audience to try to not touch their phones for the first hour after waking up for a week and see how they felt. I strongly considered this for a bit and then finally agreed to at the very least try, the only way to find out if he was telling the truth was by testing it myself. What did I have to loose anyway?

My challenge was based on not using my phone for at least an hour after waking up, more specifically checking social media. Instead I would take that time I usually spend scrolling and use it for something more positive. My routine went as follows: turn off my alarm and think about of all the things that I am grateful for, then either read a book of daily positive quotes or do a 5 min meditation. If I had any time left I would write down 3 goals I would like to achieve for the day. After that was done I would continue as usual, make breakfast and get ready for work. To keep track I wrote down how the challenge felt each day.

Journal:

Day 1: Today was hard, I couldn’t help but feel a little lost. As I ate breakfast my hand kept reaching out for my phone making me notice how addicted we can be to our devices. We can’t just eat anymore. We have to eat and do something else because we’ve trained our brains to be distracted at all times. The speaker had a valid point regarding that after all.

Day 2: The urge was strong today. I clicked it by force of habit but I quickly came out of it. I felt as if someone was watching me and I didn’t want to cheat myself. Later I caught myself wondering”is it really that bad? Scrolling for a few won’t do anything,” which sounds like something a person with an addiction would say.

Day 3: It was a little easier today, I started to get used to the new routine. After turning my alarm off, I didn’t reach for my phone to get to my Instagram app but instead reached out for my book. After reading it I took a second to really be thankful and went about my day. I felt good, I felt refreshed. I had time to start on a positive note, I only had good thoughts. I didn’t check social media until 2 hours of being awake and it was to check work not personal things.

Day 4: Today went well, I thought about it of course but continued with the new routine. It felt like I was taking a break from reality, I truly have felt much more peace starting my day this way. I don’t regret making these changes at all. I also have time to organize my day better, winning!

Day 5: It’s Friday and I’m exhausted. Today I wanted to look at my phone really badly so it could wake me up because getting out of bed was hard. But I didn’t and I’m glad. After getting out of bed it was easy to forget about it.

Day 6: It’s the weekend and my mornings are much slower. I didn’t have the urge to look at my phone at all. Instead, after reading and doing my routine I did a slow morning yoga at home. It felt amazing, my day went smooth, I found myself smiling more.

Day 7: Like yesterday I didn’t feel the urge any longer, I am craving the peaceful start to the day now. Oh how the tables have turned, I feel powerful.

The verdict: 

The speaker wasn’t lying, this challenge has changed my days. It is no longer a challenge but my new morning routine. It is weird to realize how much a small device can affect you, your brain and way of thinking. How much it can affect your entire day. The first hour of the day is the one hour you have complete control of, you get to decide how the rest of your day goes. Starting it in a positive way really changes the outcome of your day, it’s a domino effect. When we obsess over our devices we willingly give away our power to technology, to other people, to the world. It’s time we take it back. It’s small changes like these that differentiate success from failure, positive from negative, happiness from misery. I challenge you to join me in trying a new morning routine. Cleanse yourself from the negativity of social media every morning and instead use it to self improve. Reclaim your power, get control of your days, remember the smallest changes have the biggest impacts.