Operation 100 Follow Up

September 24, 2020

WELL. Day 1 of Operation 100 (my challenge now has a name!) went well.

If anyone is curious, here is how I calculate screen minute when I cannot avoid spending hours on my phone doing telehealth & attending meetings.

Yesterday: 3 hrs 33 minutes total = 213 minutes

From 213 total minutes, I then subtract:

60 minutes Zoom (attended resident EBM/JClub session while taking a walk — in beautiful weather, I might add), 51 minutes Doximity (telehealth modality #1), 51 minutes Haiku (telehealth modality #2).

213 – 60 – 51 – 51 = 51 total minutes

Now looking at the apps, it does not appear I actually spent 51 minutes on the phone, but screen time will count any time the screen is active, so I guess yesterday that added up to 51.

I did dock my phone when I got home, but did so in the kitchen, which is not out of the way. WHY the kitchen and not somewhere inaccessible?

Reason #1 – Music. I like to play music in our main room (playroom/eating room); it calms and kids AND me. Yesterday it was the Lego Builder’s Journey Game Soundtrack by Henrik Lindstrand (which I heard about on Forever 35 and it really WAS very calming and nice — plus the kids were actually playing LEGOs, so very appropriate!).

Reason #2 – Social. Mostly because I sometimes FaceTime with my sister in the evenings, and I don’t want to miss those calls. Also Josh usually texts me with his ETA. Theoretically these items would ping to my watch but the ol’ 235 isn’t always perfectly reliable. (Though on further analysis, it’s probably reliable enough.)

However, I’m an Upholder (meaning: I can get pretty stubborn and obsessive regarding personal goals . . . as I’m sure you all can glean) and I feel quite determined to bring on true habit change in this personal challenge, so having the phone in the kitchen was okay. I just didn’t pick it up!

OH, and I did two other things which were helpful:

✔︎ I wrote down in my planner (with a little arrow notation) when I checked email/blog comments. Being honest with myself and tracking it will likely help (it certainly helps me with other things!)

✔︎ I tracked my time yesterday! I’m curious to see if NOT spending that time distracted/on social media has an impact on how I use my time in other realms.

I have to say I am very motivated by the desire to change my habits. And I feel like . . . I can do this.

I didn’t floss until I was ~37, and now I floss every day.

I didn’t strength train regularly until 2018, and now it’s an integral part of my life/fitness regimen.

I think if I can really get my phone and social media use down to a very intentional minimum, it will truly enhance my life. So, worth it. I am excited that some of you are going to work on this with me.

PS: A reader shared yesterday that there was an anti-Biden ad on my site yesterday (my ads are managed through BlogHer/SheKnows, a 3rd party – I do not manually place them). I was horrified to find this out! Attempting to work on the BlogHer ad settings to prevent this NOW.


  • Reply Omdg September 24, 2020 at 6:40 am

    I use my phone a lot more than you do. Yesterday I discovered that if I listen to music on you tube I can’t use any other phone app because I haven’t paid for a subscription, and therefore I wasn’t able to scroll social media. I used this method for 2.5 hours. I also did some cme questions on my phone (30 min), and liift4 (37 min). Social media was 1.5h, and internet (was 40 min), so that’s the distraction I really need to avoid getting sucked into. But if you look at my total, 5.4 hours, it’s easy to think that I frittered away my whole day. Oh! If it weren’t for social media I would not have learned that a local private school was in person, so… it’s not a total waste. I also have few in person interactions with non-family so I wonder whether it’s really so awful that I use it.


    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 24, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      Oh I definitely do not think it is awful! I tend to get trapped in Insta rabbit holes and really fractionate my attention. It doesn’t sound like that’s an issue for you! I don’t think it’s a good/bad thing, but for me it has been working against me recently.

      I use my laptop for Beachbody. Never thought about pulling it up on my phone!!

      • Reply Omdg September 25, 2020 at 6:20 pm

        I pull it up on my phone (there’s a bb app) and mirror my phone to the tv. I love having it on a big screen. It feels very fancy.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 26, 2020 at 5:24 am

          ooh!! That is fancy!!

          • omdg September 26, 2020 at 6:25 pm

            You should see if your tv is capable of this! Most of the newer tvs are, and I know you have an iPhone, so. Dylan will even mirror her almost decade old iPad with the TV and do Khan academy for all to see. It’s pretty cool!

          • Sarah Hart-Unger September 27, 2020 at 7:49 am

            Our TV can do this – i know b/c we’ve watched videos from the iPad on it! However, it’s not in my “Beachbody studio” room 🙂
            (we only have one). But love the ideas for kids apps!

  • Reply Morgan September 24, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Intrigued by your Zoom meeting while going for a walk. Do you turn the video off? I always want to do this, but don’t want to walk around with my phone in front of my face!

    • Reply Jen September 24, 2020 at 10:33 am

      I have done this – and usually Zoom has a call in number for the audio so you can avoid using your data if you want. I love walking and talking/listening to break up some meetings.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 24, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      So the culture where I work is that most people have their videos off, unless they are the speaker or leading a meeting. This was resident EBM session, and I was not leading the session but rather contributing in tiny bits/pieces. I left my video off, and glanced down occasionally at my screen but did not stare at it. You will find if you do this that often the visual content for a meeting is not that central to the purpose. I get much more out of walking meetings where I am present that I do at sit down meetings where I am supposed to be looking at a screen but in reality may be multitasking.

  • Reply Mariana September 24, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Really good effort!

    I think I might join you on this, and I will start doing some calculations regarding my screen time too… Usually I just track the total time my phone measured but it tends to spike everytime I have a longer drive (I use Google Maps for navigation) or videocalls with family or friends, and I don’t want to reduce my time spent on those.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns September 24, 2020 at 10:28 am

    So I mostly focus on my social networking time and yesterday was only 29m! Weekends are my weak spot as I tend to spend over 1 hour on social media. But then I wonder if that is really so bad as that is how I keep up with what friends are up to? It’s hard to know where to draw the line on how much is too much? I set my social media usage at 1.5 hours but that includes whatsapp and messages, which is how I communicate with my sister and best friend. I am trying to pick up my phone less when I am around our son, though. That’s my main focus right now!

    I also will take zoom calls while walking if I don’t have to speak/it’s ok to not turn video on. Since I’m pregnant, I get winded so much easier so I can’t really talk while walking as then it’s obvious I’m not at my desk! But every Tuesday there is a meeting at 2pm that I just listen to so that’s the perfect time for me to walk as I find I absorb more/pay better attention. If I listened at my desk, I would 100% multi-task.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 24, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      I should clarify – I don’t think it’s inherently bad. It’s bad FOR ME. I use it as a numbing agent / escape hatch and it doesn’t serve me. Things like FT with my sister totally serve me, and I would not even count those in my tally.

  • Reply Dawn Burke September 24, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Chapter 7of Digital Minimalism has some really good ideas for being intentional and making our devices work for us in a singular way instead of multiple ways at all times.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 24, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      I think I may give this entire book a reread!

  • Reply Eva September 24, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I share your struggle in wanting to use my smartphone for what benefits me, not what drains me. I try to be intentional, but it’s easy to blur boundaries. I also want to use my meditation app (headspace), workout app (aaptiv), and music (spotify) when I feel like – without getting sucked into a social media vortex. I did delete all social media apps from my phone, which has helped – one positive side effect of the pandemic (after getting too stressed out when opening any social media platform and seeing my antivax/conspiriwiri family members share the most illogical things).
    Would love to read in the future what works for you with conscious boundaries on smartphone use!

    Also – out of curiosity: which language are you learning on Duolingo? I’m currently learning Swedish on there and finished Spanish in the past.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 24, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      Headspace and Duolingo definitely don’t drain me – I probably wouldn’t count either! So yes – it’s not all or nothing or ANTI PHONE, it’s identifying what serves you and what doesn’t. If your SM is already off of there – it sounds like you’re already in a great place!

      I’m doing Spanish b/c living in S Florida it’s somewhat terrible I don’t speak it already PLUS Annabel is doing it too so that makes it more fun 🙂

  • Reply Amy September 24, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    I need to do this too! Last election, Twitter drove me so crazy that I ended up never using it again. My anxiety levels were sky high. I already deleted Facebook about 8 years ago (best. decision. ever.). Unfortunately, now Instagram is giving me just as much anxiety and is such a time suck. I will definitely follow along to work on decreasing it. Thank you for sharing your challenge with us!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 25, 2020 at 5:29 am

      Yep, I quit Facebook in 2016 and have never been tempted too return. I think Insta has insidiously filled in some of that prior role. Same company so it shouldn’t be a surprise!

  • Reply RKK September 24, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    I decided in January 2018 to go a week without social media…and never went back. No Insta, FB, twitter, nothing. i have gone back to checking occasionally, but honestly, it was so freeing, and gave e so many quiet pockets of time that made the day seem longer and saner, that I have no interest in going back. So it can be done 🙂

    Also on your parenting challenges – i agree with the comments mentioned on your last post, and also wanted to say that ‘How to not lose your Sh*t with your kids’ by Carla Naumberg really did change my life and answer a lot of the questions you had (so much so that I pressed it when I guest-hosted the Currently Reading podcast a few weeks ago.) Hope you find it helpful, too.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 25, 2020 at 5:30 am

      I did, actually! (PS: I didn’t know you guest hosted currently reading!! Share the link!)

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