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The no-contact challenge!

For this challenge, channel your inner spy.


Be an enigma. A riddle. And hard as heck to reach by cell phone.

Today, as much as possible: Avoid all electronic communication.

That includes:

  • no email
  • no chat
  • no texting
  • no phone communication



Which leaves lots of time for:

  • in-person interaction (what we call “conversations”)
  • alone time (what we call “thinking”)
  • focusing on meaningful, valuable, important tasks (what we call “doing stuff that actually matters”)


The communication continuum

Of course, not everyone can just drop off the grid. For instance, if you’re an ambulance dispatcher or air traffic controller, please stay on the phone.

However, we can often change more than we think.

Try to find ways that you can move along the “communication continuum”.


Why not try:

  • a phone call instead of an email?


  • meeting a client or coworker in person, instead of talking by phone, email, or chat? (not in the pandemic situation of course)


  • an “email break” lasting at least one hour… or more?


  • turning off your cell phone and/or work phone for at least one hour… or more?


  • keeping your cell phone, and/or email on only during scheduled work hours? (i.e. 9 to 5, or the equivalent)


  • adding an automated response to your email or voicemail letting people know that you are checking email/voicemail only at scheduled times today?


  • Silent all the notifications in all your electronic devices for some time.


Just figure out what is the best way to not use all the electronic devices as much as possible in your scenario.


What should you do instead?

During your electronic communication break, focus on completing tasks and having interactions that are truly meaningful, valuable, and important.

Spend time with your kids. Share a laugh or have a good chat with your colleagues. Put in some solid, uninterrupted, focused work. Type away at that novel.


If you’re with someone, focus on them fully. Make eye contact, pay attention to what they’re saying, and listen.

If you’re working, focus on that task. Eliminate as many interruptions as possible.

If you’re doing nothing at all… enjoy.

You might realize that you have plenty of time left at the end of the day to really think about yourself.


Tune in and learn something about yourself and your experiences.

Use your mind-body scan today to notice and name whatever you experience when you’re out of electronic touch. 


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