Screen Free Hour – Experiment for July 2016


This month, I am experimenting with First hour – screen-free hour. No laptops, e-readers, and especially my phone for the first hour after I wake up every morning in the month of July. The only exception to this is that I can use my phone to turn off the alarm – but nothing else for the first hour after I wake up – that is, if I am using my phone alarm.

The inspiration for this experiment is partly the Slow Home podcast episode with Janell Burley Hoffman, partly my overconsumption, my addicted reading this past month.

Most days in June, as soon as I get up, while I am walking down to make my coffee or feeding my cat, or drinking my coffee, I am thumbing through emails (mostly marketing or promotional to delete them), checking and reading on my Feedly app (the light articles only please) or continuing to read some fiction book I was reading the previous night. It is not bad – this kind of first hour, but after that I feel a little tired and mentally fogged, but nicely relaxed some days and disgusted with myself the other days.

And I have not “created” much this past month – since the first hour in the morning is when I generally seem to generate the mojo for making. After a month of excessive consumption, it is good to reset, so I can start writing and coding and photographing again – and so, this experiment.

As we all learn in school, we do experiments to see what happens and learn from it, to test out our hypothesis. And to do that we need to collect the data and analyze it. So what will I measure? How do I quantify the effect of this experiment?

1. How easy or difficult it feels each morning D
2. In this hour how many “phone twitches” do I notice. The phone twitch – as I define it – is this habit of reaching for your phone, unlocking it and reading email or a game or whatever – all done instinctively.
3. How many “failed twitches” in this hour – when I actually catch myself only after have looked at my phone screen
4. The number of hours I slept the previous night (from my Fitbit sleep logs)
5. The number of minutes I was awake / restless (from my Fitbit sleep logs)
6. What did I do this screen-free hour
7. How do I feel about this first hour today?

This should provide some interesting, insightful data I’m thinking. I’ll post an update the end of the month.

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