Guest Blog: The One Thing You Can Do To Use Your Phone Less

May 26th, 2016

I’m the guy that built Moment, so I should have it all figured out, right? I’m the master of my smartphone and I never struggle with using my phone too much, or someone in my family using it too much. I use my phone as a tool for communication and efficiency, and never distraction from boredom.

Well, that’s not true at all. I’ve improved my own phone habits, but it’s taken two years and many 3+ hour days on my phone. And I’m still far from perfect.

The smallest habit change that’s made the biggest difference for me and my family is banning phones from the bedroom.

It starts out innocently enough. “I’ll use my phone for an alarm clock.” That’s your phone’s way of being literally the first thing you touch when you wake up. Your alarm goes off and you unlock your phone and turn it off. “May as well check Instagram and Pinterest to see what’s new…” Twenty-eight minutes later, you have to get up or you’ll be late for work.

The same goes for nighttime. There is nothing worse for your body than the blinding light of your phone right before you try to get some sleep. That backlight is telling your body “the sun is up, get out of bed” while you’re trying to lull your brain to sleep.

My suggestion is simple: leave your phone in the kitchen at night. For waking up, buy an old-fashioned alarm clock and use that. At night, instead of perusing social media, try reading that book that’s been on your shelf for years. It’ll put you right to sleep ?

My Results

I instituted the ban on phones in our bedroom exactly one year ago. Without doing anything else, I immediately dropped about 30 minutes from my daily phone use: 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes right before I fell asleep. That was a 30% drop for me.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 16.23.40

See that big rollercoaster last May. That’s when I banished my phone from my bedroom.


Just putting some physical distance between me and my phone forced me to get out of bed instead of mindlessly scrolling through Twitter while my eyes were still fuzzy. Now, I wake up with a hot cup of tea instead of the glow of my phone in my dark bedroom.

To be clear, I still pick up my phone pretty much first thing in the morning. That’s a habit I’m having a bit of a harder time changing ? At least now, I make some tea and go to the bathroom first.


Holding your glowing phone above your head, losing grip on the sleek edges, and have it plummet ungracefully into your face should be a wake up call. There’s better things to be done in the bedroom, like getting a good night’s rest.

Leave your phone in the kitchen when you go to bed for a week and see how much better you sleep. I have a feeling you’ll be keeping that old-fashioned alarm clock. ⏰

Kevin Holesh – Designer of Moment & Focus

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