Why you should keep your phone in airplane mode each morning

"Negativity is the enemy of creativity. "-David Lynch

Negativity is the enemy of creativity.

Why you should keep your phone in airplane mode each morning

Waking up, crawling out of bed, reaching for your phone.

Do you turn it on? Keep it in airplane mode? Keep it off completely.

These are not easy decisions, especially as you are wiping sleep from your eyes.

As I write this, I realize I need to simplify this to this simple system: Off. Period.

Use something else to check the weather.

Checking the weather after waking up was a trap I fell into more times than I can count. The dilemma is this: Do I check the weather and open myself up to the pending notifications that will come through the second I take the phone off airplane mode?

One negative text could ruin my entire morning. And mornings are a time for a clear head so I can think and write and start the day off with intention.

I don't want ANY negativity in my morning mind.

One strategy to get around this is to turn my ringer off and then make sure all notifications for texts are off in settings so I can safely check the weather without being assaulted with pop-ups and dings.

Doing this, I realized the longer my phone stays off in the mornings, the more productive I am, and the better I feel the rest of the day.

  • No joke.*

This may not be the case for everyone. Maybe you enjoy waking up to messages from lovers, friends, and family.

What I have found is most things that come at me via text in the morning are business-related, and thus, they extract energy and focus.

If you are in various group chats, you know that opening your phone to 20 missed back and forth messages take a mental toll.

You now have a decision to make: read and engage or ignore?

You have now spent precious mental energy.

Decision research points to us having limited decision making energy each day. So use it wisely.

Decision Fatigue

Zuckerberg wears the same thing most days. This keeps his attire simple. Steve Jobs had a self-imposed uniform.

A first principle of phone use is this: it extracts energy.

No matter how engaging and lively and joyful they are, your conversations still pull energy out of you.


As a CEO of a remote team, when an employee messages me, it's because they need something. Thus I now have to expend energy to figure out the thing they are asking.

One way I curbed this was by keeping my phone in airplane mode most mornings. This forced the team to figure things out themselves. And that's what they did: figured things out for themselves.

Before I let you go, I'll comment on my morning routine.

I've been writing lately about focus, and more specifically, the opposite of focus: distraction.

Turning your phone on in the morning creates a psychic connection between you and your device. This connection nags at you all day long. Most people don't even realize it's there. This is why you check your phone 15+ times a day: to see what's new or if someone contacted you.

There is no greater distraction and mental energy zapper than this. This psychic phone-mind connection puts you in a heightened state of stress.

The key is to keep your phone OFF so no one can contact you or leave you a message on your phone until you let them by turning your phone back on. This is the only way I've been able to sever this psychic connection. I highly recommend it.

A final note on productivity is this: The most productive hours of each day are the first 3-5 for most of us.

Thus my advice for everyone no matter your profession, is this: protect the first few hours of your day, every day.