In this post, I’ll explain why I consider that increasing your Time To First Byte (TTFB) is the right thing to do.

While reducing the TTFB is obviously a goal shared by anyone typing on a keyboard for a living, I’ll focus on the opposite. Yes, you got it, this post won’t be about Web development.

What I call TTFB in my daily life is the first time I got hit by a byte after awakening.

You can be hit by a byte from a phone, a watch, a laptop, or any other connected device. While this isn’t painful and a really short TTFB is how most people live with (according to an old study by IDC Research, 80 percent of all respondents reach for their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up), I actually try to get mine as long as possible.

Here are my main reasons:

  • It has the power to destroy your morning routine. If you check your mails and discover that you got tons of error reports, this will get the priority over everything you’re used to do before work. And your whole day will just be a race against time.
  • It prevents you from listening to yourself. Questions such “How am I feeling? What went wrong yesterday? What could I achieve today?” are replaced in your brain by “Who emailed me tonight?”. Doesn’t sound great for your mental health, right?
  • You don’t really need it. You’ve been off for 6 to 8+ hours. Can’t you just save 30 extra minutes in which you control “everything”?

I know that phones are extremely addictive and it’s really tempting to check them right after waking up. As a developer working from home for 3 years now, I’m also really aware that it can be tough to disconnect, both from work and from any digital life. Though, just like going outside without your phone, you first discover that it’s completely doable, then refreshing, and finally really enjoyable.

I have set a few super simple but efficient tricks to prevent this instinctive gesture:

  • I use an actual alarm clock, not my iPhone. Because as soon as you have it in hand, you lost!
  • I set Night Shift on an extended schedule. This way, my falling asleep and awakening times aren’t disturbed.
  • I disabled almost every possible notifications.

To me, this has been a life changer to enable serene mornings, with enough time for myself and my partner. When I finally get hit by a byte, I’m in a relaxed state of mind, ready to see what I missed while I was sleeping.

What about you? Do you do the same? If no, I’d definitely recommend and would love to get your feedback!