Experiment 09

Observe phone proximity

From batch 1 of our weekly series of Lab Tests

Each week we release two new experiments from the Digital Habit Lab, launching on Kickstarter later this year.

Read Lab Test 1 →
See all Lab Tests →

What does it involve?

Make it a priority to observe your physical relationship with your phone on a moment to moment basis. Where do you keep it? How close is it? What happens if you can’t find it for a moment?

Why do it?

  • Helps you to become aware of the more subtle ways which your phone can effect your mood, behaviour and focus throughout the day.
  • Create moments of opportunity to take a small but real break. For example, if you catch yourself picking up your phone to scroll through instagram on your toilet break... this could be your opportunity to leave it behind and take a couple of minutes without a screen.
  • Use this method as way to help make sure that your tech use is aligned with your purpose. When you move to a new space notice when you grab your phone and use it as as opportunity to ask if you are doing so out of need or just habit.


  • Try adding something to your phone which is a bright colour to help you increase your awareness of it's presence during the experiment.
  • Try and notice the most subtle behaviours. For example, when you get up from the sofa to make a cup of tea, does your phone follow you even then?