It’s happening!! When I did this readathon a few weeks ago, it was more a personal thing. I needed a day without the distractions of my phone, social media, tv, Netflix, and anything else that sucks in my attention with it’s evil sticky claws. I found that I was preparing myself for some quiet reading time, only to waste it perusing Twitter or Instagram. I decided it was time to re-train myself, and what better way to do it than with a readathon!
Well…….. let me tell you, the response about that readathon was overwhelming! So many comments on here, on Twitter, and personal messages came flying in telling me that they loved the idea and wanted to participate! I never thought to make this an official readathon – but, here we are!
And by we, I mean me and my AMAZING co-host Justine! I’ve got a lot on my plate and knew that I would need help with this project. The first person I thought of was my bookish twin. Even though she lives halfway across the world, we still manage to be the same person, or twins separated at birth or something lol. Our reading tastes are SO similar it’s scary! But it’s also wonderful to have a person out there that just “gets you”. Justine will be putting up announcements both on her blog (ishouldreadthat.com) and on her YouTube channel (Check her channel out HERE and don’t forget to subscribe!!!) so there are a lot of ways that you can hear about the Off The Grid Readathon.
- Readathon’s will happen every 3 months on the second weekend of the month. The first one will be in October, then next is January, April, July, and October.
- They will start at 12:00am on Friday and will end at 11:59pm on Sunday night, in your own time zone!! – let’s not make this complicated! This gives you 3 full days to read! (The first ever readathon begins October 12th and ends on the 14th)
- This is a fluff-less readathon. No challenges, no reading sprints, no buddy reads (yet) – just read! Your only goal will to be to get in as many reading minutes/hours as you can and stay focused on your book!
- The only rule – stay off your phone!!! This is a no distractions readathon! The whole point is to go off the grid. Don’t check to see what’s new on Facebook, don’t look up snapchat filters, don’t search for new pictures on Instagram, and DON’T even think of opening twitter!! All of these habits are the things that we’re trying to break and re-train. You need to become aware of just how much time you’re wasting getting caught up on social media. More importantly, you need to see how much you can accomplish without those distractions! For some added fun – keep track of your reading minutes to see how well you did and compare it with the next readathon 🙂
This may seem easy – but it’s not! We’re so used to grabbing our phones whenever we have a spare minute. The readathon is here to be make you aware just how often you reach for your phone, and make you second guess your decision. This is to make you feel guilty for touching your phone – so grab your book instead! We also realize that you have lives (and so do we, imagine that!) so don’t ignore your children or not show up to work. That’s not what we mean by no distractions lol. This is just to make you see how you’re spending your time, and make you focus on reading to boost your reading minutes.
Join us on Sunday’s for a Twitter wrap up chat! This is where we will talk about the books we’re reading, how well we did staying away from our phones and televisions, and how many uninterrupted reading minutes we had. I know, I know. Adding in a social media chat defeats the purpose of the whole readathon! But we had to think of a way to chat with our participants somehow! Follow us on Twitter @OffTheGridReads for details and information. The chat time has yet to be determined.
NEED HELP? Trust me – you just might!
I’m not going to lie – staying away from your phone isn’t easy! Once I made this goal, I became hyper aware of when I picked up my phone….. it was a little shocking actually! What I found really helps are Apps. There are so many apps out there that help you either block your other apps completely, or they deter you from opening your phone at all. Here are 3 apps you might want to try (keep in mind that I have an iPhone and might not have listed anything that is available on Android only):
- FOREST (paid app @ under 3.00 CAD) What I personally use
PROS – This app will not block your phone but if you leave the app, your tree will die! I’m a tree hugger, not a killer lol. If you try to get away from the app, a notification will come up and tell you that if you don’t go back your tree will die. I also like that there is an adjustable timer that you can set from 10-120 minutes. You can also purchase new trees and bushes to make your forest look pretty! There is also a function where you can create a group and see how well other people are doing! This might be something to think of for a little fun competition!
CONS – Unfortunately you can’t even use basic functions of your phone. With some other apps, you can still use the phone and text, but this one you can’t.
- FLIPD (free app) Read my warning in the cons!
PROS – This app is simple to use and has adjustable times starting at just 5 minutes. It has an app lock function which, when you start the timer, all of your apps completely disappear from your phone. It was a little unsettling to see them just POOF away, but that’s the point! You can’t open something that just isn’t there! This app also has a group feature just like Forest.
CONS – For me, this con was big enough to make me delete it immediately. When all my apps came back, they didn’t come back to their normal place. My apps were removed from folders I had set up, and things that I had on the first screen were moved to the second and third screen. I was livid, and it took me a long time to put them back. It also made me request to once again receive notifications from all my apps when I went back into them. Not sure if this will happen to everyone though! But for me it was too sketchy to use!!
- MOMENT (free app)
PROS – This one more focuses on your phone habits opposed to blocking you from using it. BUT! I will say, that this is a totally eye opening truth! It will track the times that you just picked it up, and how much time you’re spending in certain apps. Like I said, it’s eye opening to say the least! There is a paid option with Moment Premium (5.49 CAD) where you can set screen free time, a daily limit, or reminders to tell you that you’ve been on the phone for too long. I LOVE that!! I haven’t purchased the premium yet, but I might as it seems really helpful! It will also tell you how long you’ve slept! Your tracking goes from daily, weekly, and monthly. So, even though it can’t block you completely, it will most definitely show your progress in not touching your phone. The more I use this one, the more I love it!
CONS – Like I said above, it doesn’t deter or stop you from using your phone at all. It’s more just a tracker that will tell you how much you’re using your phone. Unless you purchase the premium package which would allow you to block your phone or set time limits.
To keep up to date with all the readathon happenings, please follow us on Twitter @OffTheGridReads. In the bio you can also find me and Justine’s personal twitter pages and Justine’s YouTube channel too 🙂 We also have an Instagram account @offthegridreadathon. Can’t wait to get started on our first readathon this October and communicating with fellow book lovers! Hope you will join us! Any questions, feel free to contact me on any one of my platforms.
Until next time, happy reading!