- About Us
- Contact Us
Taking a vacation (or even a staycation) can do more than just help you relax. Here are a few of the many benefits that a little time sans technology can bring.
Blackberrys and iPhones and Androids, oh my! Remember a time before smartphones existed—a time when meetings, errands, and bathroom breaks (c'mon, you know you're guilty) weren't spent on Facebook and Twitter? What did we do with all of that idle time?
Smartphones have made staying connected a cinch, but vacations provide the perfect opportunity to set devices aside for a week or two. While unplugging may not always be easy (or even encouraged), doing so is crucial to our well-being. When we disconnect from work, we can regain the passion, energy, creativity, and perspective that too often becomes diminished or lost when we're slaves to our handheld devices.
Say uncle. Whether or not you're aware of a problem, being constantly "plugged in" creates stress—and that goes for following your friends on Twitter as well as checking your office email. While some of us struggle more than others, acknowledging that you could stand to take a step back is the first step toward breaking the pattern.
Do your homework. An empty plate will make relaxing that much easier. Tie up loose ends with clients and coworkers, and complete all time-sensitive items before you log off. Set an “Out of Office” response on your email account, and add a personalized message noting your return date.
Declare your intentions. Let your boss know beforehand that you plan to unplug. She may be used to having access to you 24/7, so make sure she's aware that your fine mind will be unavailable. Brief her on your current projects, and assure her that they are up-to-date. Clearing your absence in advance will avert any misunderstandings.
Make it a family affair. If you can, get your whole crew on board with your plan to disconnect! The transition will be easier and more fun if you embark on it together. You'll be able to rely on one another for entertainment, and your gang can hold you accountable if curiosity tempts you back into your old ways. Speaking of which...
Stick to your guns. If you find yourself growing antsy about the emails that are accruing, remind yourself that you are entitled to a break. When the urge to check in arises, immediately do something to distract yourself, like pick up a book or go for a walk. If you’re running errands or waiting in line, chat with the person next to you instead of jumping on your phone out of habit.
Ride the wave. If you find unplugging enjoyable, perhaps you can find a way to incorporate it into your weekly routine. What if you decided to unplug every Saturday—all day long? Think how refreshed you’d feel on Monday morning if you used your weekends to truly relax. (Okay, fine, you can get a jump start on answering emails Sunday night.)