Breaking Routine – Day 9 1

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In my neighborhood, leaving for work after 7AM is a huge mistake. A six mile commute goes from 15 minutes to 45 minutes almost instantaneously. Fortunately, there is a little bonus that comes with some extra drive time; more time to hum through some podcasts. This morning, I was catching up on The Briefing with Albert Mohler.1)This daily podcast was recommended to me a few months ago, (thanks, Jon) and it tackles current events and news through a Christian worldview.


Today. most of Mohler’s cultural commentary focused on Sean Parker, one of the founders of Facebook, and his comments on the cryptic nature of technology and designers’ deliberate actions to make social media addicting. Bottom line,  there is enough evidence out there proving we don’t have as much control as we think we do when it comes to how we deal with technology, especially our phone and social media.


Well, the timing couldn’t have been better because I left the house this morning feeling ashamed and frustrated after taking on today’s new business and family improvement task.


Today’s “Thing”

For a few years now, long before this project, I’ve been working towards being more intentional with my time. The tempo of this life-stage is pretty hectic, but we’ve found, if we take control of how we spend our time, a little fruit can begin to bear; even when it feels like a grind. Ebbs and flows…successes and failures in this department.


One time-sucking habit I’ve developed is looking at my phone first thing in the morning. Not just looking at my phone to check sports scores, but being lazy catching up on things that couldn’t possibly matter less; i.e. Twitter feeds and the Dow’s performance yesterday.


So, today I shut off the alarm on my phone and refused to look at it before getting ready for the day. Seems small right? In fact, how small it should be is what made it all that more important for me because this wasn’t easy. I didn’t want to play a game or read email. In fact, there was no specific thing I actually WANTED to do on my phone this morning, especially since it’s not fantasy baseball season, but for some reason, I wanted it my hand.


Actually, not for some reason. It was for a very specific reason. For far too long, I have been turning off my alarm in the morning and killing time flipping through apps…accomplishing nothing for 10….15….20 minutes at a time. And if Charles Duhigg taught me anything in the Power of Habit, it’s that I have inadvertently created a routine that begins at the cue of waking up. My body and mind have been trained to thirst the reward of aimless iPhone time. Not good.


There is more here to dive in to. I’m going to revisit this after a couple more mornings and I’m going to extend the time I don’t touch my phone until I get in the car to set up my AM podcasts. Will report back soon.


Day 9, 9 January 2018: Don’t screw around on the found first thing in the morning





Footnotes   [ + ]

1. This daily podcast was recommended to me a few months ago, (thanks, Jon) and it tackles current events and news through a Christian worldview.

About Brent Nichols

My blogging is, no doubt, all over the map, but hope you'll find something just right for you. Currently living in the D.C.-metro area in Northern Virginia. You know what? I think I kinda like it out here.

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One thought on “Breaking Routine – Day 9

  • Tim Nichols

    Thank you for the resource… I’m hearing many are going back to the flip phone specifically to get some time back into their life.