Phone-Free Friday Nights

by Health, Productivity

Are you guilty of phubbing your spouse, partner, kids, and co-workers? Do you struggle to do anything phone-free? What about implementing Phone-Free Friday?

Phubbing = Phone-Snubbing

I wrote about our Phone-Free New Year's Eve experiment three years ago. Read the full story here.

My husband, who almost always has a phone or iPad, decided we should start doing phone-free Friday nights and have been doing it ever since. Every Friday at 6pm, we put our phones in our Bagby Social Mindful Phone Holder. It doesn't mean we can't use our Googler because sometimes he has a disc golf tournament on Saturday and might need to check in on Friday night, or I'm meeting a friend for a walk early on Saturday morning. If that's the case, we go over to the holder and do whatever we need to do – and then we go back to the couch (because we're most likely watching a movie). 

Create Phone-Free Time

Think about a time that you can create in your life that is phone free. Could you have device-free dinners every night? We definitely do not have our phones on the table when we're eating together. Never. Could that be something your family does or that you do with your partner? 

Phone-Free Ideas

  • Bathroom time (yes, we know you take it in there)
  • Your kids' games or practices
  • Church
  • Movies
  • Concerts
  • Coffee shop time
  • Waiting in line at the store

My phone-free personal time is in my infrared sauna. The first year I had my sauna, I would take my phone inside because I love using the Calm meditation app. But, it was just too easy to quickly look something up if I had a random thought. Since January 2021, I've been phone free in my sauna. I have a little pad of paper I keep inside, and if I have something I want to remember or look up, I write it down. I also use that time for reading, paper crossword puzzles, or just thinkitating. I also take my watch off, so I'm not tempted to ask Siri.

I belong to a peer advisory group called Vistage International. Once a month, we have an all-day meeting. I found that when I would wear my beloved Apple watch, I would look at it more, even though it was on do not disturb and my haptics were off. It was just too easy. A few months ago, I started wearing my 25-year-old Sector watch. It forces me to only check for calls, texts, or Voxers during breaks or at lunch to see if my concierge has said anything that I need to address. 

We love our Phone-Free Friday nights and are looking for new opportunities to practice being present.

Think about a time that's important to you, that you're giving up being fully present. What is a time that you can commit to being phone-free?

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Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects