Inspired by a recent conversation with my friend Christina, I finally went ahead and bought an old school alarm clock on Amazon a few weeks ago.
It has been a game changer. I highly recommend it.
Like most people, I've been using my phone as my alarm clock for the last 10+ years. My Kindle helped to end my phone addiction at night before bed, but as my alarm clock, the phone was definitionally the first thing I started my day with, every day. My first 10-20 waking minutes most days were focused on my phone screen - checking email, Twitter, news, texts, etc.
None of this was urgent at all, but I did it anyways because it was there, and because screens are addicting.
Now that I have an actual alarm clock, I just charge my phone in the kitchen every night. When I wake up, I don't think about it, or miss it, or have an urge to check it. Out of sight, out of mind.
I usually don't wind up touching my phone until 30-60 minutes into my day. I can feel that this isn't just changing my mornings - it is also subtly changing my relationship with my phone throughout the entire day, helping to cut back on the phone/screen addiction that I think most of us currently suffer from.
I have other rules I've been using for a while now. I keep my screen on black/white mode. I don't use the phone while I walk from my car to the office. I am always exploring new ways to modestly cut back, so if you have any little rules/hacks that work well for you, let me know and I'll probably try it.
My alarm clock was only $20 and I like it a lot. There are no shortage of different/nicer options out there.
If you want to spend another nine minutes exploring our screen addiction problem, this recent TED talk on the subject is pretty good (h/t Jaemin):