Why? Think of all the time you spend looking at that phone. Of course there are important and meaningful things you do on there. But what about the times you pick up the phone out of habit? What about the feeling of emerging from the screen after 30 minutes or more wondering, what happened to that time? What about the days when you’ve barely woken up, haven’t even made eye contact, and you’ve already been swept into a world of feeds and emails that are now setting the (stressful) tone for your day?

What if you reclaimed a little bit of that time every day and — here’s the key — replaced it with something you enjoy? Writing in a journal, talking face-to-face, reading a book, playing an instrument, going for walk, letting your mind wander, whatever you feel like doing. Instead of inviting the alluring device with all its stressful news headlines and work emails to frame your day, try framing your own day.

So, 30 mins morning, 30 mins at night. Replace being on your phone with something else. You can do it. Oh, and meals, too…meals are so important.

The #TechLifeBalance Challenges are part of the sixth annual Character Day where millions around the world will gather in schools, companies, and homes to discuss the relationship between technology, screen use, and character development. Learn more about Character Day.


Tip #1
Invite your friends and family along for the ride. Start by thinking of five people you want to invite to do these challenges with you and send them this link. It’s always more fun to do things with others, and accountability is great. If they are hesitant, we’ll be rolling out some tips for getting them on board along the way.

Tip #2
If you use your phone as an alarm, try putting your phone on airplane mode before bed. The alarm will still work. Let it wake up up, then put it down and do your thing.


Check out our complete Tips for Taking a #TechShabbat


Looking for Inspiration?

Why Device-Free Dinners Are a Healthy Choice

Common Sense Media

It may seem obvious that eating dinner with your family is a good thing. Research provides plenty of support for the importance of family dinner for kids: Learning vocabulary, fewer behavior problems, less substance abuse, and healthier eating are some of the positive outcomes

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Hurting Your Health

Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley

As psychologist Chris Willard often says, our phones can be our greatest enemy or greatest friend. While they can save us time and energy, educate and entertain us, and keep us safe in emergencies, they can also distract us from the things we need in life to stay happy and healthy.

Blue light emitted by screens damages our sleep, study suggests

Science Daily

The short-wavelength blue light, emitted by the screens we watch, damages the duration, and even more so, the quality of our sleep. “The light emitted by most screens — computers, smartphones, and tablets — is blue light that damages the body’s cycles and our sleep…”

Labor Day 2019 Op-Ed: The Case for a Tech Shabbat in a Too-Connected world

The Boston Globe | by Tiffany Schlain

I used to feel good about getting work done throughout the weekend. I was a working parent starting an indie film studio, and anything that would help me stay on top of things was a win. Weekends were a chaotic mix of recreation and work, sending e-mails and ticking things off my never-ending to-do list.

Start Your Day With Mindfulness

Inner Explorer

Here’s a sample of a short guided mindfulness practice from our partners at Inner Explorer. Use it to start or end your day, or however else you choose. They have wonderful programs for K-12, with special offerings for Character Day participants.

Imagine That: How Reading a Good Book Can Make You a Better Person

Angela Duckworth, Character Lab

Not long ago, I found myself in a heated argument about empathy. A new friend—someone I’d long admired but only recently met—and I were discussing social inequality. “I think the real problem is empathy,” I said.


Character Day 2019

These challenges are part of the sixth annual Character Day initiative. This year, Character Day focuses on the relationship between character and technology. How does technology enhance our character development? How does turning off the screens enhance our character? Join us September 27-28, 2019 by signing up your school, school district, company, organization, congregation, or home.