Hey guys! Many of you will be familiar with my nightly phone ban, something I put in place a few years ago which has completely changed my life. Yes really. I’ve mentioned it a few times in various posts, but never spoken about it in detail, so thought I would today.
It might seem counterintuitive to be a career blogger, totally in the digital world, but cut yourself off from the internet for 12 hours a day. Butttttt what I’ve come to realise in the 6 years running this blog is that success is as much about creativity as it is about being online, and if you never give yourself a chance to disconnect, you’ll struggle (and probably ultimately fail) in the creativity department. So yes, I did it and it worked….
At least for a while! Guys I’m sad to say that recently I’ve been slipping. I’ve fallen off the wagon people! Only sometimes, but it’s happening – sneaking a few checks of my phone late at night, doing the odd post an instagram before I go to bed. As with anything, it’s easy to fall into old habits when you stop being diligent. And once you start you can’t stop, you’re scrolling like a maniac to get through it all. And when I did slip back I noticed almost straight away that it has effected my sleep and my state of mind. Given how many of you have mentioned this concept to me in comments and emails, I thought you might want on join me in my 30 day challenge – getting back on the 8pm – 8am phone ban wagon. Are you ready?
Why ban your phone from 8pm – 8am?
Reason one: Studies show that looking at screens before bed tricks your brain into thinking the sun is up, sending out chemicals that make you feel alert and awake. Making it ohhhhh so hard to get to sleep. Wanna sleep better? Put your phone down well before you get into bed. It’s. That. Easy.
Reason two: Picking up your phone in the middle of the night (so so bad) and looking at emails, something that is actually quite common – been there done that, is a great way to completely ruin your sleep. Once you waste that serotonin of getting back to sleep, it can be anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours before you go back to sleep.
Reason three: Waking up by looking at your phone might seem to work, until you see all those emails from clients, troll comments on your Facebook page or anything else that will stress you out. It’s the technological equivalent of getting up on the wrong side of the bed day after day.
How to implement the nightly phone ban:
Ok so naturally the first step is admitting you have a problem… And if you’re like 90% of me and my friends, chances are you do. Whether you’re a Pinterest addict, an Instagram junkie or an email slave, chances you you spend wayyyyyyy too much time during the evening looking at that little screen. But you know what, it’s actually quite easy to
Step 1 – Choose Your Times
8pm – 8am work well and is easy to remember, but may not work for everyone. These times work for me on weeknights when I’m at home, but that’s based on a schedule of getting to work early and leaving at a reasonable hour. Naturally you don’t have to do this when you’re out our on the weekends (unless you want to). Depending on what you do, you may want to do 9pm til 7am, or 10pm til 10am. Really it’s all about your lifestyle – with the focus on giving yourself a nice block of time where you aren’t working and can power down.
Step 2 – Power Down
Speaking of powering down, one of the main issues is that phone use is addictive, once you get into a long convo with that nice guy with the beard from Tinder, time often flies and before you know it it’s 11.30pm and where did the night go? At first you’ll probably need to set reminders for yourself to switch off, go into airplane mode and put your phone down. That guy from tinder can wait! A few reminders on your phone are a great way to do this (how ironic!).
Step 3 – Buy an Alarm Clock
‘But my phone wakes me up in the morning’ is one of the main reasons it’s hard to unglue yourself from your phone overnight. Splash out on an alarm clock and use that to wake yourself instead. How hip to go analog like that ha.
Step 4 – Ban phones in the bedroom
On that same note, put your phone to charge overnight outside if you can (it’s a bit tricky in studio apartments but out of arms reach is a good start) and ban them from your bedroom space. It’s time to put an end to waking yourself in the face with your phone. 🙂
Step 5 – Create a Bedroom Sanctuary
Might sound a little bit kooky and new age, but creating a nice soothing space in which to wind down and relax is a great way to not miss the warm blue glow of your phone. Treat yoself! Candles, nice linens, a cup of tea and maybe even a hanging macrame wall hanging if you’re so inclined. Anything so the space feels more special for you so you’ll want to hang out there.
Step 6 – Develop a reading list
Naturally you’ll want something to do when you’re in your amazing bedroom sanctuary, hopefully there will be some bowchikawowow but a great book can be just as fun. Create a reading list and start working your way through it. It’ll help you sleep and relax you in a way auto play on snapchat can’t.
Ok so guys this has been a lonnnnnnggg post and for that I’m sorry. What can I say, I’m passionate about sleeping well and feeling happy and refreshed every morning. Annnnddd also feeling excited and inspired to get online (rather than overwhelmed). This phone ban has been a foundation of this for me and I can’t help but want to share that with you guys. Over the next 30 days I’ll be challenging myself to put the ban in place 100%, and I’ll be checking in with you, sharing the tips and tricks for the best way to make it happen and keep it happening.
Are you keen to put the nightly phone ban in place? Do you have any particular worries or concerns? I’d love to work through them with you. 🙂