It is so amazing to know that on average, people open their phones 58 times a day, and the average phone usage time is 3 hours and 15 minutes per day. This statistics is from research conducted by RescueTime.
The No-Phone Challenge was a challenge that Freda Mawia asked both of us to challenge ourselves with after she realized the amount of time she was spending on her phone while trying to complete a task.
The aim of this challenge was for us to go about our daily lives without our phones for about 8 hours every day. The plan was to try it for one week, see the outcome and then decide if we will need to continue.
Surprisingly, by the end of the second day of the challenge, we found out that we could really do without our phones — our productivity level increased and we also increased the level of our concentration at school.
For a lot of us, we are quite aware that our phones are a major source of distraction and putting our phones away for 8 hours might seem like a daunting task.
Everyday, while I was participating in the challenge, I posted content of victory of how I have been able to scale through the day without my phone. Some friends confessed to me that it might be hard to do without their phones for such period of time but my response to them was, “That’s why it’s a challenge”.
Challenges are a good way to push beyond limits and to task oneself on things that seem impossible to do. Imagine that myself and Freda didn’t take on this challenge, there would be no need for this article and I wouldn’t have tapped into the countless number of opportunities that presented itself to me to be more productive.
My challenge to you is that you try the No-Phone Challenge — you will be super-amazed at yourself. Living without your phone is a challenge and you should take on this challenge even if it is just for one day.
Two success factors I have identified for this challenge are:
- Have an accountability partner.
I remember one question myself and my partner asked each other during the challenge was, “Are you with your phone”? It was a way to checkmate ourselves to stick with the rules of the challenge. At the end of the challenge each day, we recounted our experiences to one another and shared joys of how we felt the whole day without our phones. It was really great.
Don’t do this challenge alone. Find a friend or someone close to join you.
2. Find activities to keep yourself busy.
I understand how it can be to miss your phone. But when you have activities to occupy you, you won’t think about your phone. If you ever get to remember your phone, try to shift your attention to the activities seeking your attention. You can also make a list of tasks you want to complete in a day so that you have something to think about.
The No-Phone Challenge is just for a few hours in a day and it should be during hours that serve as work hours so that the aim is not defeated. The major aim is to keep you disciplined.
For I and Freda, we still used Slack for collaboration with team members and our emails were accessible to us. We just didn’t want to sight our phones but instead, we worked with our computers without accessing social media. This requires a level of discipline and it is very possible.
To wrap up, my friend, Funke Oyedun shared a personal experience as it relates to the No-Phone Challenge.
Funny and beautiful things are always happening around us, we just have to pay attention. For example, I watch my baby girl dancing and calling out my neighbour’s name for the first time! If I had been on my phone, I would have missed out on something that made me laugh and brightened up my entire day.
From her experience, she also highlighted three (3) reasons you should consider a challenge that helps you stay away from your phone.
- Better Sleep
I was able to improve my length of sleep. I thought baby-sitting was the reason I developed insomnia, I was surprised by how much quality sleep I had when I had limited access to my phone.
2. Less Anxiety
I do have the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) while constantly checking my mails and social media. Staying off my phone made me realize I do not need most information. They turn out to be distractions, making you have unnecessary anxiety.
3. Staying Focused
The moment I powered down technology, I powered up my life by staying focused. I had more time completing my to-do list which boosts my confidence everyday. I never knew how much time I had within the day until I stayed off my phone.
The No-Phone Challenge is nothing more than a challenge and a call to do without your phone for eight working hours.
Challenge yourself, give it a try it and let me know what you think in the comment section.