What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Check your WhatsApp or Instagram, maybe? or if you’re a professional working with people across different time zones, you check your mails immediately after you get up. The first thing we reach out to after opening our eyes is our mobile phone. And that’s when the crisis starts to kick in.
What Crisis? Creative obstruction by digital distraction. Human brain is not designed to multi-task. We’re still linked to our primitive habit of focusing on one task at a time. Every time you start your day being distracted by the flood of irrelevant information, you move one step closer to loosing your creative self.
Our ancestors were nomadic people. They traveled in search of food and shelters – often referred to as hunter-gatherers. They feared unknown territories and wanted everything planned. We’ve come a long way from being the hunter-gatherers, but our primitive brain is still wired primitively. It wants to keep you at your comfort zone. It fears the unknown. It asks for certainty and wants to be informed of the next step.
And that’s why when you check your mobile phone the first thing in the morning, our primitive brain gets a signal that this is how you want your next 24 hours to be. So, when you try to move out of your comfort zone and be productive, your brain resists. It releases cortisone – the stress hormone. It procrastinates. It doesn’t want you to leave your comfort zone.
Still not sure about the ‘comfort-zone’ theory? Try this right away:
Step 1: Find the most used app (for most of us, it is Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter) – Let’s take Instagram for this example.
Step 2: Replace the location of the app. Shift it from your home screen or from the place it has always been located – For our example, let’s suppose we replaced the location of Instagram with an app for math puzzle.
Step 3: Keep your mobile down for an hour and continue with your regular activities (not necessarily productive)
After an hour or so, when you’ll subconsciously pick your phone, you will find that your hand automatically moves to the location where your most used app was located (Instagram in our example) and despite realizing the fact that you have moved Instagram to some other location, it will open the app that’s located in place of Instagram (Math Puzzle App in out example). Why? Primitive brain doesn’t want you to leave your comfort zone.
And that’s why it is extremely important to set the tone of the day by setting up a morning routine. Here’s a list of four simple things you can follow:
- Keep your mobile phone at a minimum of 10-feet distance from your bed. Trust me, unless you are running a country, nobody would need you pick up the call within 7 seconds.
- When you get up the next morning, make your bed. It takes 3 minutes. You won’t miss anything in those 3 minutes.
- Unless you’re running short of time (such as a scheduled meeting in 5 mins or any emergency call from a relative), avoid touching your mobile phone for the first 20 minutes after you wake up.
- In these 20 minutes, write down your goals (not on your mobile, get a notebook), enjoy the nature, think about things that make you happy, meditate or just sit and relax.
These are quick, simple and proved methodology to set the tone of your day. As you master these, you can proceed to follow complex morning rituals.
Always remember, mind is a terrible master, but a wonderful servant. Success is difficult to attain for one whose mind is unbridled and distracted. However, those who have learnt to eliminate these distractions, can attain perfection of their crafts.