Do you remember the last time you were without your phone in your hand or within arm’s reach? It’s become so common to constantly use technology as it’s always with us. I will make an educated guess here and say that you’re reading this post on a device, most likely your phone, but possibly a laptop, and I highly doubt you printed it out.

Let’s talk about the importance of tech-free time. For example, when you go for a walk, walk the dog, or go for a run, try leaving your phone behind. I know it may sound crazy, but hear me out. If you wear an Apple Watch, a Garmin, or any other tracking device, you can bring that along, but leave your headphones behind.

And even if you can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or music on your wearable, resist the temptation. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover. Did you know that birds in the trees make beautiful music? And the sound of wind blowing through the trees is utterly mindblowing!

But it goes beyond that. I can actually think when I go for my daily run, which I’ve been doing since August 29, 2017, without anything in my ears. It’s amazing how many thoughts you can have when you don’t have any other sounds competing for your attention, just the sounds of nature.

Now, let’s take it a step further. The next time you read a print book, put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Even better, put it in another room. Do you need your phone right next to you when you’re engrossed in a book?

How about trying a tech-free day? Pick one day when you and your family go without any technology: no phones, no laptops, no tablets, no TV, no gaming console. The only exception will be an Apple Watch, a Garmin, or another tracking device if you use one (like I do). But even with a wearable, resist the urge to check email, text messages/DMs, sports scores, or the news (why do you even have a news app on your wearable?). Just use it to track your activity.

This may seem like a big ask, so start with half a day or a couple of hours and work your way up. Get your whole family involved. Tell them, “Next Saturday, from noon until three, the entire family will go without technology.” Your kids may ask, “What are we supposed to do?” Encourage them to read a book, a print book, with no devices. Go tech-free! And then next time, try six hours, and eventually a whole day.

You’ll find that you and your family will become more knowledgeable because you’ll read more. You’ll also experience more peace because you’ll have moments of quiet. And you’ll have more ideas because when you have an idea, you’ll have to write it down on paper with a pen.

Spending time without technology can truly change your life. Technology is terrific, but we must find a balance and spend less time with it. So, are you up for the tech-free challenge?