A few weeks ago, my intern told me she spent an hour scrolling through Instagram before getting out of bed. Wow,” I thought, What a colossal waste of time!
And then, it dawned on me that my morning routine isn’t that different from hers. After hitting snooze a few times, I roll over, grab my phone, check the time, and open Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Let the scrolling commence. It’s become automatic, an action of my sneaky subconscious.
Before I know it, 7:05 turns into 7:30, and that nice breakfast I’d planned on making turns into one measly clementine or a spoonful of peanut butter.
It irked me that I was starting my day with so much social media. So, I challenged myself to kick this habit for at least one week. And not only did I do it, but I’m still doing it three weeks later.
This challenge gave me the gift of more time (you know, that thing people say they never ever have enough of?). And sure, in the grand scheme of things, 30 minutes is nothing. But in the morning before work, it’s everything.
I can let my hair dry rather than dashing out the door with it stringy and wet (very cute). I can make myself a well-rounded breakfast, and sometimes, sometimes, I can sit down, leisurely sip my cup of coffee, and do something I enjoy, like reading a good book or writing.
You may not believe me until you try it, but there’s just something so calming and refreshing about easing into your day rather than stumbling out of bed and racing the clock to the office.
And think about it: If I practice this consistently, I gain back two-and-a-half hours each week and 10 hours each month.
Don’t get me wrong — social media can be great. It can be essential in helping some people skyrocket their career, and I can’t deny that I like being able to stay easily connected with friends and family I don’t live near.
But, for me, it can also cause a lot of icky feelings, too. From jealousy — Oh, Jackie moved into a brand new two-bedroom apartment? Cool. I’m going to be stuck in my one-bedroom for-ev-er. — to body shaming — Pretty sure yoga pants never look that good on me, so I’m just going to stuff this cupcake in my face now. — to feeling like a failure — Ha. Luke just got a book deal and here I am, on my third job in four years.
I could go on. But I won’t. Because even I’m getting sick of this pity party.
The point is, mindlessly scrolling through social media can very quickly turn into the comparison game, and that doesn’t sound like a mindset that’s compatible with a successful and happy work day.
I haven’t perfectly honed my new lifestyle yet. Often, I fall into the scrolling trap right before bed (and, yes, I know that evil cell phone light is horrible for my eyes and brain!).
But the improvements I’ve noticed from eliminating it from the beginning of my day motivate me to keep trying. Because there are a lot of goals I want to accomplish in life, both professionally and personally, and having that extra time is game changing.
And I’m not going to get anywhere if I wake up to an internal mantra of “You’re such a failure, Abby.”
Originally published at www.themuse.com on April 13, 2017.