The Single Habit Change That Helped Me the Most

by Kevin Holesh

I've been using Moment for a year now, a couple months before I made it available in the App Store. I've learned a ton in that year, but one thing sticks out.

At the beginning, I was spending 2 hours on my iPhone each day. I used it for work, but most of that time was scrolling through Twitter and checking email obsessively. The last thing I'd see before I drifted off to sleep was Tweetbot and the first thing I'd see when I woke up in the morning was my iPhone waiting for me on my nightstand, singing the siren song of distraction.

My iPhone was the bookends of my day. I'd spend 20 minutes drifting off in the glow of my phone screen, and I'd spend the first 30 minutes of my day waking up to the same light.

Your Alarm Clock Is an Excuse

My phone used to be my alarm clock. That's why I needed it right next to me. I'd set my alarm for 7:30 AM knowing full well that I didn't need to be up until 8. I'd pad my daily wake up call because I knew I'd be spending the first 30 minutes of my day catching up on what happened while I was asleep. My morning rounds were Twitter, email, and my RSS reader. Drowsy-eyed scrolling for half an hour.

There's one thing that works better than my phone as an alarm clock. It's an actual alarm clock. I bought mine at Ikea for $5.99 and I'm not tempted to stare at it for 45 minutes each day. It's actually rather boring.

No iPhones in the Bedroom

I now enforce a ban on screens in our bedroom. I don't allow me or my wife to use our phones right before bed. Our bedroom is for sleeping, cuddling with our dogs, and reading books on our Kindles. Our bedroom is our sleep sanctuary.

Right now, I'm down to about an hour on my phone each day. Most of that is spent working on Moment. Ironic, isn't it?

The single biggest change I made to my daily routine was leaving my iPhone on the kitchen table while I slept. I'm no longer tempted to pick up my phone and check my email first thing in the morning. I still spend a couple minutes each morning checking Twitter, but it's while I'm enjoying a cup of tea and watching the rising sun's rays engulf our kitchen. Tweetbot is the equivalent of my dad's morning newspaper and I'm okay with that. I'm happy to not be beginning and ending each day on my phone before I even get out of bed.