If you are a person who checks their phone within 5 minutes of waking up, you are not alone. 61% of people reach for their phone moments after their eyes open. 88% check their phone within 30 minutes of waking while 96% check it within one hour of becoming coherent. In a world where our stress levels are on the rise and according to a November 01, 2017 press release by the American Psychological Association, we are at the lowest point in history with our faith in the future, is scrolling a newsfeed, looking at emails, texts, and social media first thing in the morning contributing this stress and hurting your productivity? Very likely.
The annual Stress In America (technology and social media segment) survey found that ‘constant checkers’ – those who reportedly were attached to their mobile device and felt a critical need to look at emails, texts, and social media, reported higher stress levels than those who did not feel such a need. People who feel the pull of their device, it would seem, have a compulsion to check-in even though this level of connection is causing more stress. Stress is the plague of modern society and has been linked with diseases of all forms including obesity, cancer, insomnia, and a lowered immune system. It also hinders our productivity.
The 2014 Global Benefits Attitude Survey found that stress in the workplace caused employees to disengage and become less productive. The question is this – if simply scrolling our phone first thing in the morning, and looking at it nonstop, is increasing our stress, and increased stress lowers productivity, why not make one simple change to feel better and get more done. What would it take to stop the co-dependant relationship we might have with our devices and crush it in life and business?
Personal empowerment guru, Brandon Bruchard, reportedly does not check his mobile first thing in the morning. As a coach to people like Oprah, he counsels his clients to follow his lead and create a solid getting started routine that will empower them for the day as opposed to sabotage their success.
Personally, I am one of the 4%. I turn off my phone at night, leave it in my home office, and thus, do not check it first thing in the morning. I reserve the first hour of my day for prayer, meditation, writing, journaling, and exercising. Once I have my head on straight I turn on my phone which signals the commencement of my workday. That first precious time in the day is critical to my productivity. If I look at my phone, I will become distracted and that will take me off task. Furthermore, it can be emotionally draining to see negativity, criticism, and items that incite fear, jealousy, and condemnation first thing.
Breaking the constant phone checking habit is not easy however it is essential. Dr. Lionel Bissoon, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, tells his patients to move their phone out of the bedroom if they are not sleeping. He maintains that even having the phone near our bodies while we are trying to rest can be toxic. He reports that the patients that comply do start to have a deeper, more restful sleep. Additionally, if the phone is not right beside us, we cannot reach for it before we have even become somewhat coherent.
Ultimately, if we want to become more productive and create better results, we must start to create some boundaries to fulfill our inherent need to think, dream, and even breathe. If we have the desire to become successful, we must eliminate anything that will reduce our results including breaking the addiction of constant phone checking. This goes beyond work-life balance, it is about achievement and if our achievements are being hampered by something that is detrimental to our results, then there is no question about the choice we must make.