Experimenting to End 2019

The items from the Digital Detox Kit

In the past couple of weeks I’ve obtained a couple of, well let’s say nifty things that I’m going to try out to help me end 2019 and start 2020 on the right foot.

While in Kananaskis, Alberta to give a half day workshop a couple of weeks ago I made an impulse purchase in the gift shop at the lodge. I bought a little box of toys and such called a Digital Detox Kit. I’m really trying to cut down on the time I spend on my various devices, but still kind of kicked myself for spending about $35 Canadian on something so gimmicky, though I now think it might have been a good investment.

The Kit contains:

  • a pouch to put my phone in that says “Sweet Dreams Smart Phone”
  • a sleep mask that says “Recharging”
  • a set of ear plugs
  • a 6-sided dice to role for a suggested alternative to picking up your phone to browse social media or other distractions
  • a 3-min timer
  • a tiny old-fashioned alarm clock
  • an infinity fidget cube
  • a small brochure with suggestions on how to use each of these

Yesterday, for the first time, I brought the kit to work with me. I made good use of the timer, the pouch, and the fidget cube to keep me from using my phone or checking social media mindlessly on my computer. I put my phone in the pouch when I sat down at my desk and only took it out for my lunch-time walk and to take the picture attached to this post. Taking it out takes a few seconds, which makes it harder to access than if it was sitting out on my desk. I used the timer twice when I needed to reply to a couple of private messages on Twitter. The fidget cube could easily become a new addiction for me. I also looked through the booklet for tips and rolled the dice once, but it told me to explore outside and it’s too cold for that so I ignored it.

The items from the Digital Detox Kit

I don’t use my phone as my alarm when I’m home as I have an alarm clock radio across the room (forcing me to get out of bed to turn it off), but perhaps I’d use the miniature alarm clock the next time I travel. 

I’m going to try to use the Kit regularly for the rest of the year and then give it a full review, but I’ll report back periodically on how it’s changing my use of my various devices.

On Tuesday I received an email that led me to the second thing I’m going to try out as the year is ending. I get regular emails from the Calm app people because I have a subscription. The email contained a link to download their free Holiday Journal. It has a page with an activity for every day of December and I liked what I saw as I browsed the PDF, so I had in printed in full colour and spiral bound. It cost about $10 less than the Kit.

The Introduction states:

“The Calm Holidays journal is a mix of practical mindfulness tips and contemplation prompts, and how you use it is up to you. You may choose to write on each topic daily for the month of December as part of a morning or evening practice. Or you may prefer to cozy in for an entire weekend, sitting with all of these tips and questions, alone or with a partner – a private retreat! Or, this journal may be something you reach for in the moment and choose a random tip to guide you as needed. However it is you use it, may it be a chance to extend to yourself, too, the kindness we celebrate this season.” – Calm Holiday Journal

I haven’t decided how I’ll use it yet, but I will begin to use it no later than December 1.  Like the Kit, I’ll give you me overall thoughts in early January, but will provide some updates along the way. 

You can download holiday guide for free and use it as you feel is best for you. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of time you spend on your devices, you may get some ideas or inspiration from my experience. I don’t think you have to buy the Kit, but rather can pull together your own such collection of items if you wish.

Here goes.


  1. Mike Diakuw says:

    Nifty! I used to have a winding alarm clock like that (only larger) when I was a kid. Loved it—and it was so loud. I’d love to see that infinity cube, some time.

    I don’t have social media problems since quitting Facebook and Instagram a couple of years ago. I do miss connecting with some of the people that I don’t see IRL very often, but I think it was the right decision for me.

    Good luck with your “detoxing”

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