A couple weekends ago, I decided to have a phone-free afternoon. It was so good to put my phone away, and not worry about responding to text messages, social media or the like. While it was just for a few hours, it really inspired me to take a break from technology more often and focus on my surroundings and live in the present. So, today, I thought I would share four tips for doing a successful phone fast.
1. Turn your phone OFF.
This one may be obvious, but turning your phone off is the number one defense for not using your phone. Whenever I felt tempted, I knew that if I turned on my phone, I wouldn’t go back. Instead of ignoring your phone or putting it on “do not disturb,” turn it off, save battery and save your time.
2. Store your phone in a weird place (but somewhere you’ll remember) or give it to a friend.
Take an extra layer of precaution and put your phone out of sight. Better yet, give it to a friend who can keep you accountable during your fast.
3. Set a length for your phone fast.
Know when you want to start your fast and end your fast. Plan ahead to get the most of your time phone-free. For me, I did it on a Sunday afternoon when I had time to do house chores and some other work. Set a time in your head so you can push yourself to reach your goal.
4. Don’t cheat. Instead keep a post-it handy in case you have to remind yourself to message a friend.
I realized during my phone fast, that I should really message a friend or find out some other information. If this happens, be sure to have a notepad ready for your phone to-do’s instead of cheating to message a friend or go on social media. The number one thing is not to cheat and to enjoy your hours phone-free and the slight uncomfortable feeling that may come along with it.
Bonus: Write down your thoughts about the phone fast or talk about it with a friend.
Reflect on your experiences, so that maybe next time you can try going longer without your phone or technology. Think about ways you can make the most of your time without your phone. Take a walk outside, exercise with friends, do some housework, or get some work done ahead of time. Use this time and space to focus on what you need right now, instead of what the people on the opposite side of the phone need from you.