And on the Seventh Day...we keep going
As we end WEEK ONE, let's take a little accounting of how it has been going...
#SmartFreedom Challenge Checklist:
No phone while driving (See Day Two).
No phone during meals (whether alone or with others) (See Day Three).
No phone in the bathroom (See Day Four).
No phone for your morning alarm clock (See Day Five).
Complete phonexamination of conscience (See Day Six).
For DAY SEVEN we're going to add a couple of other minor practices that can have major impacts on our day and particularly our sleep cycle. NOTE: The word is Add meaning we will continue to do the first six days worth of challenges as well!
DAY SEVEN CHALLENGE (two parts!): Turn phone off/silent/airplane mode, etc. 1 Hour before Bed.
This means you will actually give your brain a chance to shut down and get quiet without the incessant, mindless scrolling. By removing our phones from our hands an hour before bedtime, we may actually make our bedtime! How often do you say, "Just one more notification check... one more email sneak peak... one more slack message... one more swipe... one more cat video... one more episode..." and suddenly it's 1AM and you say "NEVER AGAIN!" or more likely "Siri, set a reminder for me to not do this again tomorrow."
If you're serious about #SmartFreedom, and you're willing to make it hurt for the next two weeks... remove that phone from your hand 1 Hour before Bed and don't pick it up again until you've been Out of Bed for 1 Hour. These two hours are critical to the way our days and nights go.
I want you to picture this right now (yes, many of you are reading this post while in bed... so you don't have to imagine too much.) Can you imagine the peace of no emails in bed? No checking and rechecking to see if your last text received a reply/requires another reply...and almost inevitably ends up beginning a new conversation? No "Are you still watching?" questions? No snaps. No grams. No likes. Just sleep. And in the AM, imagine what life would be like if you woke up, and it was YOUR morning for a few minutes. No noise from the outside world. Only noise from within your own household. You can wake up and begin the day. It's always going to be a better day when you've had an hour to wake up, drink some coffee, get your day going... before you find out about the murderous jaguar in New Orleans or the latest fire you have to put out at work. No one needs that kind of stress while still in bed.
Our phones should not book end our lives. Let's replace them with Prayer--it doesn't even have to be eloquent prayer. First thing in the morning is rarely a time to be eloquent... Let's replace that time by expressing our gratitude to God, or laying in bed quietly just reviewing our day, thinking about all the joys and hopes that the new morning can bring... Let's declare FREEDOM from needing to be connected at those two very sacred times of day.
Okay, okay... let me guess. You're feeling convicted but overwhelmed. That's a pretty significant shift for most of us. Make your goal by the end of Week Two (that's Day 14) to have this down--Two Hours of Freedom. If you need to start small tonight with 20 minutes, fine, but you can do this. It could change everything.