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Tip at a Glance: Don’t bring your phone into the bathroom. Although it might only be a few minutes of scrolling, it is one of the most common triggers that starts the vicious cycle. Once you scroll even for 10 minutes, you’ve then conditioned your brain to want more throughout the day. If you’re trying to have a focused and energized day, don’t fall into this common trigger.
Let’s admit it: we all do it. Every time we go to the porcelain throne we’re probably bringing along our phone because we can’t stand to be alone with our own thoughts even for a few moments. Leaving aside how this is probably not very sanitary, it is a common trigger to start the vicious dopamine cycle. Because we can’t really do anything else while we’re in the bathroom, we justify in our mind that it’s okay to just scroll TikTok for a few minutes because what else would we do? As I’ve written about previously, the problem isn’t the couple minutes of scrolling. When we scroll, we become overstimulated with dopamine. Once we’re overstimulated, our brains naturally want to maintain it’s current baseline of dopamine. This spells trouble for you because the only way to maintain the baseline is by more scrolling. You’ll find that later you will start to automatically reach for your phone where beforehand you were able to maintain focus. Your brain wants more funny TikTok videos, Instagram memes, interesting tweets, etc - anything other than the “boring” task you probably actually want to do. And even if you resist, you will experience a crash that will drain your motivation and joy out of other activities. So next time you decide to hit the latrine, consider leaving your phone outside because it’s not just 10 minutes of scrolling. It is more sanitary, will probably speed up the process, and help maintain your focus throughout the day.