Summer is in full swing, and for many of us that means taking a much-needed break from the daily grind. Now that we’re living in the tech era, it can be a challenge to really disconnect from our work (and glowing little screens). But by always being "on," people are more likely to burn out and job satisfaction may be affected.
The best way to really unwind is to completely unplug from all the various devices we’re attached to and immerse ourselves in the world around us.
Here are some methods to consider:
1. Turn on your OOO message and then really be OOO. Before you head out the door, it’s typical to set up your email with an automatic out of office (OOO) message. But how many times are you checking in -- be it lurking or responding?
In your message, specify that you will have no access to email or voicemail, and enforce that rule upon yourself. People really do respect that everyone needs time off to rest and recharge.
2. Extricate yourself from social media. These days, social media isn’t just a way to absorb the lighthearted fare served by friends -- a lot of us use it as a tool for work. The best thing to do is to just log out and not log back in until on the way home. While I realize this may be difficult, it does really help limit information overload, which allows you to concentrate on the present.
3. Go someplace without service. No that wasn't a typo. By going to locations where service is not available, you avoid temptation.
Options include taking a cruise, as there is little to no cell service out at sea (and the onboard computers will drive you mad with their slow connection speeds.) Also, camping or renting a cabin in a remote mountain location will do the trick -- maybe even someplace with no electricity if you’re bold. Or try exploring a small town in a country that doesn't have a reliable Internet connection.
4. Buy a paperback. The iPad and Kindle are amazing inventions, but unless you're hauling your luggage around for weeks on end, chances are you only need a book or two. Buy (or check out) a paperback and a couple magazines and rediscover true print for a few days. By taking in content the old-fashioned way, you will not be tempted to surf the web.
5. Limit screen time to the bare minimum. I realize it would be almost impossible not to carry a phone but challenge yourself to leave other devices behind. If you absolutely can't completely unplug for one reason or another, allot yourself a strict, limited amount of time to check email each day. A fair suggestion is no more than 15 minutes, once in the morning and again in the afternoon.