10 Things To Do Instead of Picking Up Your Phone!

"Your screen time was up 20% since last week to 5 hours and 35 minutes", says my iPhone after an unproductive week of Pinterest pinning, Instagram scrolling and Facebook liking. And, I cannot forget my binge-watching of CSI on CBS All Access. This astonishing number took me by surprise and made me re-think how I spend my time. I have created a list of 10 things you can do instead of pulling out your phone in times of boredom or awkward situations!

  1. 1. READ

    Pick up a book! I remember reading more than one book a week in grade school, and in high school still reading one book a month. Instead of reaching for your phone, carry a book with you; fiction, non-fiction, biography - whatever piques your interest!


    No, we are not on a game show, although some days it feels like it! Pick up your phone and actually call a friend on your walk to the bus. Take the time to catch up, chat through a problem you’re working on or to talk about an upcoming assignment! While it may not be as good as face to face conversation, it is much better than a text.

  3. 3. CLEAN

    I bet we could all benefit from a simple tidy up. This could mean cleaning the dishes in the sink from yesterday or the desk that is covered in last week’s assignments or simply various papers, books and makeup. You could even spend more time on something like the bathroom or emptying and cleaning the fridge. Throw on some good jams and get scrubbing. Spend even just a couple extra minutes tidying your space. A tidy space is a tidy mind!


    Get out that good old lined or blank paper and let your creative side out. Pen a love letter to your S.O. for Valentine’s Day or maybe write that angry letter to someone to just rip it up. Both can be therapeutic in their own ways. While I am not a drawer, this too can bring out emotions to be worked through or just fill your mind for a short time.


  5. 5. COOK

    As a university student, I know what it is like to not focus on your eating habits and sometimes even forget to eat. Take this opportunity to meal prep or even just make a snack! It could be 5 minutes or 2 hours, but you can whip something up and fuel your body to help you keep going for the rest of the day.

  6. 6. CRAFT

    Have a DIY you have been wanting to try? Get out the paints and markers, or maybe even wood and screws. Whatever your craft choice is, take some time and get your hands dirty in a craft. Not enough time to actually make the craft? Use the 15 minutes between classes to plan out the project for the next opportunity you have.

  7. 7. SLEEP

    Who is actually getting the required 8-10 hours of sleep each night? I know that I try my best, but it does not always work. If you have an hour of free time, set a timer and take a snooze. My favourite is a "caffeine nap"; I will drink a coffee and nap for 20 minutes. When I wake up, I feel energized and ready to take on the rest of my day. (Disclaimer: this is totally not something I have researched, so attempt at your own risk).


    Have 20 minutes? Perfect! Write out bodyweight exercises and get going. Things like squats, push-ups, crunches, burpees or just a simple stretch can get your blood moving. I know I do not make it to the gym as often as I would like, so this is one that is super helpful. Remember this is a no-phone time, so look up a workout before or have one memorized for this one!


    When there is a break in your schedule this is the perfect time to get organized and make a to-do list! Get a real piece of paper and pen and write out what you want to accomplish for the rest of the day. For myself writing it down physically makes me really think about how attainable my goals are for the day or even the week. By being organized and productive you can even gain more free time to do other things on this list!

  10. 10. DO NOTHING

    This one is the hardest. For myself, I find my brain does not want to shut off and this can be challenging. Personally, I prefer to sit or lay down and pray/meditate on scripture. This can look different for everyone, but meditation is super powerful and helpful!

I challenge each of you to try at least one thing on this list between now and Friday! Even if you just start noticing the times you are picking up your phone or opening Instagram out of boredom (Tip: your iPhone tells you this in your settings under “Screen Time”. My average is 121 pickups per day.) It is possible to break that connection to our phones, and hopefully, this list helps you this week!