If I had to guess I would say close to 100% of adults check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up in the morning.
Up until recently this was part of my morning routine. Check phone, address urgencies, coffee, write gratefuls, read 10 pages, sometimes meditate for 3 minutes and back to phone…
It has been clearly shown that our brain is most active and creative following sleep.
Jumping straight to your phone isn’t taking advantage of YOUR best and most likely time to be creative.
Josh Waitzkin, the former chess prodigy and tai chi world champion has a morning routine which he says taps into your subconscious connections you experienced during sleep. When he wakes up he goes to a quiet place, does some meditation and grabs his journal. He then “thought-dumps” (I love this term!) for a few minutes. He says that during this time period he gets his best and most creative ideas. He calls them crystallized intelligence. When we go straight to our phone after waking up we are acting like “addicts”. The phone gives us that chemical rush and immediate distraction.
“At or around age 12, the brain becomes highly “beta” focused, where it operates very quickly. You stress your system out and activate your brain into a beta state by jumping straight into your phone when you wake up. Instead, you want to utilize an “alpha” brain state, where your brain isn’t as stressed and focused, but instead, can drop into the subconscious.” B. Hardy
It would seem that the time immediately after we wake up is the best time to keep that connection between the subconscious and the conscious. As we all know, it takes very little time to get lost in the world of emails, texts, social media and so many other distractions our smartphones offer us.
To be more like Waitzkin and tap into our creative side while also kicking the phone/drug addiction, I suggest the following morning routine.
Can you wait 10 minutes before checking your phone right after you wake up?
• Immediately after you wake up grab your journal and write something. You are at your most creative time of the day. Take advantage of it because you are accessing your subconscious. Your journal entry could be you free-writing or answering the question: What should I be focused on today?
• Take 5 deep breaths for a one minute pause
• Write a goal for the day or the week or any goals. This provides clarity of things you want to accomplish and gets imprinted into your subconscious. You’ve heard the term plasticity of the brain? This is the kind of thing that changes and rewires your brain. Its like giving your subconscious requests!
• Ask yourself questions like:
o Who do I need to show up for today?
o How can I be most helpful?
o What needs my attention most?
o What is currently on my schedule today that I should un-commit to?
• Write 2-3 gratefuls
After this routine my plan is to address the addictions: coffee and email!
Try this routine Instead getting sucked into distractions at the start of your day. The science behind the idea validates how this can help us tap into being successful, mindful and creative.
Have a great weekend, Karl
+Quote: You can have a great deal of experience and be no smarter for all the things you’ve done, seen, and heard. Experience alone is no guarantee of lifetime growth. But if you regularly transform your experiences into new lessons, you will make each day of your life a source of growth. The smartest people are those who can transform even the smallest events or situations into breakthroughs in thinking and action.” The Laws of Lifetime Growth, Dan Sullivan & Katherine Nomura