Two weeks ago, I shared that I’d be participating in a challenge to get more creative by using my phone less.
While I didn’t become the Picasso I imagined I’d be by the end of six days (that was a reasonable expectation, right?), I did discover something far more powerful: the secret to adding an extra hour to my day.
As I learned, thanks to an app called Moment , in the five days before the Bored & Brilliant Challenge, I averaged about 194 minutes (3 hours, 14 minutes) a day on my phone. That’s the equivalent of watching Titanic every day! During the challenge, my average daily time dropped 66 minutes.
I had a full hour of time back.
So, what did I do with that time? Instead of swapping it for other screens (pinky swear!), in my phone-free time I:
- Took notes by hand and doodled more (which actually helps comprehension, according to experts )
- Took photos with my old film camera instead of Instagramming
- Noticed a lot more about New York City architecture because I kept the phone in my pocket as I walked
- Tried to build a house made of dollar bills and credit cards ( yes, you read that right! )
These were all fun little experiments for me in my quest to boost my creativity, but if you, too, had an extra hour in the day, just think of what you could fill it with! You could:
- Start reading a new book (check out Art Garfunkel’s list if you need recommendations)
- Make a wish list of your next vacation destinations
- Write a letter to a friend, relative, or even a co-worker
- Jot down your recent career accomplishments to update your resume bullets
Of course, not using your phone ever isn’t realistic, and I know that I’ll have some days when I fall back to old habits. But the lasting lesson of my Bored & Brilliant experience is that, by daring yourself to break the screen’s trance, you really can create more time in your day. And if you’re finding yourself craving that extra hour to start a side project, learn a new skill, or do what you enjoy, now you have a simple solution.
Photo of man with watch courtesy of Shutterstock .
Consider Adrian that friend who gives you advice on getting ahead at work. Having thrived in startup and Fortune 500 corporate environments, he knows what it takes to get the job done and be indispensable to your team. He currently manages mentorship programs at The New York Times and is an alum of Yale University and The New School. Say hi on LinkedIn or book a one-on-one coaching session on The Muse's Coach Connect.More from this Author