Getting ready for work in the morning is something that many people try to streamline so that it doesn’t take as long to get ready (allowing them to sleep in longer or take more time to relax before work). However, a majority of people use their iPhones or Android devices in the morning before work, which might seem harmless to one’s routine, but it’s actually wasting time, killing productivity and is even perhaps unhealthy.
Smartphones can be a huge distraction when you’re trying to get ready in the morning, and you probably don’t even realize it. People tend to take longer showers while listening to music, play games while sitting on the toilet, or check email on their phone first thing in the morning when they wake up.
It’s not that using your smartphone in the morning is completely bad for you, it just certainly doesn’t streamline your morning routine, and it can lead to wasting more time than necessary, thus making you late for work and needlessly stressing you out.
First Thing You Do When You Wake Up
According to an IDC Research report from 2013, 63% of nearly 7,500 people surveyed said that they immediately reach for their phone upon waking up every morning. That number jumps to 74% with just 18-24 year olds.
Furthermore, 79% of all people surveyed said that they use their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up, while a whopping 89% of 18-24 year olds use their phones within this timeframe as well.
So why is it a bad idea to hop on your phone first thing in the morning and check your email? Sid Savara, who’s an expert in time management and personal development, says that the minute you check your email in the morning, “you risk doing what someone else wants you to do.”
This means that instead of waking up and heading for the shower or getting your coffee, you’re forcing yourself to succumb to what other people want you to do in the morning, by checking your email and replying to them.
Plus, checking your email or even catching up on news can end up being a huge distraction. One minute you’re just skimming through email, and the next minute you’re typing out a long reply to an email you received overnight. Eventually, 20 minutes go by and you’re still lying in bed.
Understandably, many people use their smartphones as alarm clocks, so they have to keep their phone on the bedside end table. If you have enough self control, you can easily turn off your phone alarm when it goes off in the morning and immediately put the phone down and get out of bed. If you can’t control this, then maybe getting an old-fashioned alarm clock and leaving your phone in the other room is the best thing to do.
Wasting Time in the Bathroom
How long do you spend in the shower? Maybe 10 minutes? That’s not too bad, but 10 minutes is probably more than you need. Ideally, five minutes is the recommended time to hop in, get clean, and hop out. Not only do shorter showers save vast amounts of water over time, but they also prevent you from getting too relaxed the longer you spend under that hot water.
Unilever conducted a study where it monitored 2,600 showers by 100 families over a 10-day period and found that people take longer showers than they originally thought, using up almost as much water as a relaxing bath would.
If you listen to music on your iPhone while taking a shower, you might be wasting not only time, but water as well. If you just can’t get away from your beloved music while singing in the shower, maybe limit your shower-time playlist to just one or two songs and use that as a guideline to how long your showers are and when you should hop out.
Similarly, playing games on your iPhone while using the restroom could tempt you to stay on the toilet longer than necessary. Granted, when you’re done with your business you most likely just get up and move on, but we know you’ve been there before when you’re on a roll in a certain level, and you’re still sitting on the toilet five minutes after you finished.
You’re not alone, though. A study from 2012 reported that 75% of people surveyed admitted that they use their phone while sitting on the john. Sure, it’s common, but it also opens up a world of bacteria for your phone to grab onto. Dr. Martyn Kirk of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health says that there are real health risks to using your phone while sitting on the toilet.
He says that “any place where people are touching their bodies, then an inanimate object, with their hands without washing are potentially transferring bacteria or viruses to those objects…The key concern would be bacteria and viruses that cause gastroenteritis — vomiting and diarrhea.”
Ideally, you want to spend as little time in the bathroom as possible — get in and get out.
iPhone Morning Usage & Eating
If there’s one thing you should know about mindful eating, it’s that you shouldn’t eat while you’re distracted. It’s a bad idea to play on your iPhone or even watch TV while eating breakfast, as you can easily lose track of how much food you’ve been shoving in your mouth, at which point portion control gets thrown out the window entirely.
Playing around on your iPhone while eating can also distract you from knowing when you’re stomach is full. Your stomach doesn’t tell you when its full until a few minutes after the fact, thanks to a delayed signal that your stomach sends to your brain. This is why it’s extremely important to stop eating as soon as you feel full, but if you’re playing around on your iPhone, you completely lose focus on how full you are, and you end up overeating.
In the end, using your iPhone in the morning could come with a bunch of negatives effects, like being late for work, getting stressed out, possibly getting sick, and even gaining weight. So the next time you reach for your iPhone in the morning, just remember that whatever is waiting for you on your phone can easily wait until you’re at work.