June 16

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Get rid of your phone in the bedroom and eliminate temptation

By Ralph Varcoe

June 16, 2020

productivity hacks

6.6   Phones Are Not Great Bedfellows

Productivity hack no.58 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.


When my eldest daughter got her first phone we were naturally worried that she’d have access to lots of websites, chat apps and other things that could be unsavoury. We put in place the best possible filtering software on the WiFi network, and restricted her phone to certain apps and content types online.

Even though this was a good way to protect her and give us piece of mind it wasn’t quite all we did. The other concern was that if she had her phone in her room at night she’d find a reason to be on it. Even if we restricted her use of the WiFi at night, she’d still be able to use her mobile data.

So, we removed temptation and made a rule that the phone would not be allowed in her bedroom from lights off to morning. The phone would be plugged in to charge downstairs and she’d be able to use it again the next day.

What benefits would this bring? Better sleep. Less anxiety about missing out on ‘important’ social media stuff, an appreciation of boundaries, and not forming a mobile phone addiction from day one.

It’s easy to impose rules for a child (we did get some pushback initially but largely it was fine and became the accepted norm) but it’s a lot harder to change our own behaviour if we’ve been used to having our electronic appendages ever present by our sides while we sleep.

I was talking to someone recently who asked her children for an alarm clock for a birthday present. This she would use instead of her phone’s alarm for wake up time. The idea of receiving this as a gift from treasured children is that it’d make her more likely to use it on a daily basis. And, she has. Her phone now lives downstairs while she gets a significantly better quality of sleep without the potential for distraction.

I accept this is not going to be high on the priority list of many of you making a change towards higher productivity but it’s one that, if it’s good enough for the kids, is surely good enough for us.

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Ralph Varcoe

About the author

For over 20 years, Ralph has run sales and marketing teams across large enterprises and smaller start-ups, at companies such as Orange, Tata Communications, Virgin Media, Spirit Ai and others. He brings a wealth of experience in personal and professional development with a laser focus on enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible. He's a published author and musician with a passion for creating - be that change, the right solution, exciting campaigns, the right environment for customers to succeed, or podcasts, videos and written content.

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