Written by Zach Grossfeld
Two weeks ago I stopped bringing my phone to the bathroom. Here’s why:
Don’t Piss Off Cindy
Meghan Markle looks insane. Jesus Christ, did you see the fight with that guy at Bagel Boss? Screw it, I'm DMing Kendall Jenner. What if, you know? I mean, she's been on and off with Ben Simmons, and she likes to have fun. Kylie's rather bad though. Shit, I've been on this toilet for 23 minutes, and I stopped pooping after seven of those. Alright, I guess I'll pull up my pants.
How many times has the above situation gone down in the bathroom? You walk in to take care of business and eight Buzzfeed lists later you're five minutes late to your next meeting. And Cindy, your manager who called the meeting, she's a real piece of work. Don't give Cindy another reason.
Nothing productive happens on your phone in the bathroom. I know this because I've clocked precious minutes swiping through Hinge and watching Steven Crowder's latest rebuttal of Vox. I'm not saying that this type of content isn't necessary, just don't do them in the bathroom.
In the stall, time evaporates. The technology of the iPhone, combined with the comfort of the porcelain throne is the perfect recipe for procrastination. One more Apple News exposé, three more IG stories, leads to dozens of hours wasted per year. And it's not only detrimental at work. The power of the scroll strikes especially hard at home.
At work, you're on the clock. In your apartment, the clock is on you. I know what you may be thinking. You're overreacting. It's not that big of a problem. Maybe for you, it's not. For me, it didn't seem like a problem until I started to notice the difference from taking care of business without a phone.
First, I thought about how much time I was using my phone in the bathroom. When I pee? Most of the time not at all. If I do check it midstream, I'm glancing 30 seconds max.
Number 2 is the culprit. Each time I sat down to squeeze one out, I was spending between five and ten extra minutes on my phone at work. And in my apartment? Even worse. Sometimes, I'd sit there for twenty minutes barreling down the rabbit hole of YouTube. Back when I was still playing baseball in college, I had teammates that would log forty-five minutes on the stall in one sitting. Luckily, I never got to that point, but things can quickly derail.
What Do I Do With My Hands
Think about all of the points throughout the day where your eyes remain glued to the pixels. The phone is hard enough to detach from, so why not choose small battles to make space in the day. So, about two weeks ago, whenever duty calls, I started leaving my phone on my desk at work and home.
The first day, things felt a bit weird. It's hard to imagine that humans spent thousands of years taking care of business without an iPhone X at their fingertips. What do I do with my hands? The lap works.
Three, four minutes pass. Wipe. Wipe again. Wash. I'm out. Sub five minutes baby. I feel better having time to sit and think rather than wear down my mind with more stimulation. I can relax, let my body do the work, and then get back to work.
A few saved minutes seems like a small difference, but the time starts to add up. Five minutes here, ten minutes there, and you're redistributing hours back into the week just by ditching the phone in the bathroom. Over two weeks, I’d estimate that I’ve saved about two hours of time. Hopefully those hours have not gone down the toilet.
By all means, if you're somebody that takes care of actual business in the stall like answering emails and making calls, then don't ditch the phone. But if you're like most who lack that type of willpower and turn to mindless news strips, try squatting without the phone. Thoughts can appear in peace and you won’t linger for that extra hit of dopamine.
Lost In The Sauce
I don't have a problem with the content. Pour through entertainment blogs, watch trending videos, and swipe through dating apps. Just don't get caught up in the endless scroll cycle. The setting of the bathroom makes it too easy to get lost in the pixelated sauce. Maybe it's the lack of windows, or perhaps it's the comfortability of sitting down. For whatever reason, the phone-stall combo rots time.
Most of us, including myself, are not pushing the boundaries of production in the bathroom. We're wasting away precious minutes that could be used talking to loved ones, getting work done, or waking up earlier.
Would you like to add ten more minutes to your morning routine to meditate? Get home 15 minutes earlier to start cooking? Spare 30 minutes to read? The time is sitting there for you to grab, so stop wasting it while you’re sitting.
Separating from technology is a battle. Everything is everywhere all of the time. From your pocket to your computer to the street corners, we built the world around tech. Gadgets are designed to keep us dialed in at every moment. New advancements bring prosperity, but we need proper space between our minds and technology. The battle of tech separation is won in small moments.
For me, leaving my phone outside of the bathroom is one of those moments. I challenge you to find the moments in your day where you can detach. Maybe it's the bathroom. Perhaps it's leaving your phone on airplane mode for the first 30 minutes after you wake up, or turning your phone off during lunch. The activity doesn't matter, but the time does. Pick one of these moments for two weeks and stick with it. Let me know how it goes. Alright, now I have to go, duty calls. Watch my phone for me?