10/21/2014 04:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Learning Habit Challenge!

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Addicted to your cell phone? Take our challenge!

We can all get stuck in familiar routines that are nonproductive, simply because they are repeated, day after day. So, after repeatedly doing the same thing, day in and day out, we develop habits that are counterproductive to learning. We feel off-balance and stuck in a vicious cycle.

Building new lifelong, balanced habits can seem like a daunting task, and parents I interviewed during The Learning Habit research project often felt overwhelmed when it came to making even small changes to their family routines. However, when these same parents and children were invited to try a challenge that was in the form of a game, they unanimously agreed.

Cell phone use can really sneak up on us. If you feel like your digital world lacks balance, try taking The Learning Habit Challenge below. Don't worry, it's only a 24-hour challenge! Play the game with your family. We promise, it will make you feel better and add some much needed balance back into your life. (It can also be played with co-workers as a team building activity.)

Challenge: The Stop Station (cell phone)
During this challenge, your family will agree on a cell phone stop station. All cell phones must be left at the station for 24 hours. The station will be open for only two 15-minute periods throughout the day (for example, 7:00-7:15 a.m. and 7:15-7:30 p.m.). The phone can be used only at the stop station during those two 15-minute periods.

Incremental lifestyle changes
Have a family meeting the next day to discuss the challenge. Who had the most difficult time with the challenge? Why? What did family members learn from the challenge? Ask everyone if anything else in their day (mood, concentration, focus, energy) felt different without their cell phone?

Use this time to discuss a mutually convenient place where cell phones can be kept while members of the family are in the house. Discuss a reasonable amount of time to use cell phones while at home. Have everyone participate in the conversation, write down the notes and have the family sign the cell phone contract.

Did you complete the challenge?
Please let us know how it went by posting your feedback below or on facebook. If your company decides to implement "The Stop Station" Challenge, please send us pictures!

Ready to tackle some more? Check out The Learning Habit filled with 21 Family Challenges!

Reprinted from The Learning Habit by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, Rebecca Jackson, and Dr. Robert Pressman by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, Copyright © 2014 by Good Parent, Inc