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The New Habit Challenge: Can A Digital Detox Make Room For Big Ideas?

Join our resident habit expert Rachel Gillett, other Fast Company staff, and WNYC's Manoush Zomorodi on Tuesday, February 10 at 11 a.m. ET as we discuss what happened when we put down our phones and embraced boredom.

[Photo: Flickr user Steve Davidson] 

How often do you clutch your phone as you walk down the street or quickly swipe through Facebook or Twitter standing in line? Without even realizing it, many of us are constantly connected to our phones and denying ourselves those moments of boredom our brains deserve.

While boredom may seem like a waste of time, Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s New Tech City podcast, says that we need these moments to tap into some of our most creative thinking. 

While we love our technology, there are ways to use it more thoughtfully. In an effort to create more phone-free time to space out, we've teamed up with Zomorodi to complete her Bored and Brilliant challenge. 

Here’s how it works:

Before The Challenge

If you’re using an iPhone, download the Moment app, and if you’re using an Android phone, download the Break Free app. 

Before you start the challenge, just use your phone like you always do. These apps will show you how much you use your phone before the challenge as a baseline and help track your progress throughout the week. 

Day 1: Monday, February 2, “In Your Pocket”

Keep your phone tucked away while walking down the street or in transit.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 3, "Photo Free Day"

Just say no to Instagram; take no pictures today. See the world for a day just through your eyes, not through your phone’s screen. 

Day 3: Wednesday, February 4, "Delete That App"

Choose the app that you are most addicted to and waste the most time on and delete it.

Day 4: Thursday, February 5, "Take a Fauxcation"

Schedule an away message telling the world you are focusing on off-line projects. Even just for an hour spend time completely away from your phone. You can take this to the next level by unplugging completely, ignoring all your communication devices including laptops and iPads.

Day 5: Friday, February 6, "One Small Observation"

Take your newfound phone-free time and notice something you would have missed before.

Day 6 and 7: Saturday, February 7 and Sunday, February 8, “Get Creative with Nina Katchadourian”

Get bored and take on a creative task, inspired and guided by artist Nina Katchadourian, who uses boredom as her muse. Nina will reveal your creative task early Saturday morning, so be sure to check out the New Tech City podcast that day for more details.

For this week's habit challenge we'll venture into the realm of boredom and creativity with Zomorodi. Join us here on Tuesday, February 10 at 11 a.m. ET when she'll share the results of her Bored and Brilliant challenge, and find out how it went for us, share your thoughts, and ask us questions.

Did you detox from your phone to let more creative thinking in? Tell us about your experience in the "make a comment" box below and join in the discussion on Tuesday.