About a week ago, before I posted this reel on Instagram about the 'Morning habits that changed my life,' I did a little experiment to see if any of these habits did have a positive impact on my life or was it just something I believed.
If you've seen the video, you will be aware that I don't propagate using phones and social media right after waking up. We won't get into the science behind that, but in case you're interested in the research behind it, you can read this article. There are several more like it.
Over the past year, not looking at my phone the first thing in the morning became a habit. Unless there's an emergency or someone calls right in the morning, I stay away from my phone for at least an hour after I wake up. It became quite an organic part of my lifestyle, so I didn't really feel any effects, so to speak, and never really focused on the positives.
So I decided to experiment.
Here were the rules: I had to spend 30 minutes on my phone immediately after waking up. That's it.
I spent a week doing this. Here's what happened during that week:
My productivity plummeted: I realised that I after I had scrolled through Instagram and twitter and facebook for 30 minutes, I didn't want those 30 minutes to end! It was a lot more fun to just keep scrolling than to get up and get to work. I mentally reprimanded myself for doing this, but I felt so mentally drained of energy that I couldn't really do much work even if I wanted to.
I spent a lot more time on my phone throughout the day than I usually do: I kept going back to my device, opening up Instagram, scrolling through reels, even though there wasn't a lot to see there. It became kind of this automatic response and every time my attention wavered, I unconsciously reached for my phone. Result? I could barely do any work since I was on my phone for most of the day! *facepalm*
I was not able to focus very well: Even when I finally got down to doing work (that couldn't be ignored or postponed), I was shifty, my focus was out and it ended up taking me to triple the amount of time to finish the task than it usually would. It was extremely frustrating.
I forgot important things: Because I was so distracted throughout the day, I found it hard to keep track of appointments and tasks that were assigned as recently as the a few hours ago. Got a lot of scolding from my mom as a result.
I was a lot more stressed and anxious throughout the day: About things that don't usually bother me at all! My mind was wandering more and to things that impacted my stress levels and anxiety negatively. I was a lot more sensitive too, to what people were saying and I got upset with people for literally the stupidest things. This is very unlike me, so you can imagine how this stress was stressing me out further.
Takeaway: Most of these were very subconscious responses. I wouldn't have noticed them had I not been maintaining a journal to keep track of my days during that week. But looking back, it was
extremely obvious how social media use, right in the morning affected my overall day, mental capacity, and productivity.
By the end of the week, I found it very difficult to step away from this habit of looking at my phone and go back to my old routine. I actually spent the next week just getting back in the groove (keeping my phone away, blocking the social media apps so I couldn't open them during certain time periods, etc.)
Plus I don't remember having a positive impact really. In fact, even now, on days when I post on social media in the morning (since that is part of my work) and I have to engage with the audience, I find that I am a lot more distracted throughout the day.
That's about my experiment. How about you? What are your thoughts on social media use, especially right after waking up?