Disconnecting from the Digital World

Disconnecting from the digital world can be challenging. It’s extremely difficult for some people to “let go” of their work in today’s digital age, but it’s well worth taking time to disconnect every so often.

Recently, I took a few days off and disconnected completely. No  emails, social media, or mobile devices. It’s strange – at first – to let go of everything completely. But it’s also refreshing.

RambergMediaImages / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Why it’s good to “unplug” from the digital world every so often

  • It’s healthy. Being constantly connected to your phone, laptop, etc., can take a toll on your health and make you feel run-down. It’s vital to take time just for yourself.
  • Taking some time for yourself is a good way to decompress and evaluate your personal life.
  • You have time to take time to do what matters most to you such as spending time with family and friends, partaking in a new activity, etc.
  • You feel refreshed and stress-free.
  • You can jump back into the digital chaos afterward with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project, wrote about his experience after disconnecting for nine days.

“By the end of nine days, I felt empowered and enriched. With my brain quieter, I was able to take back control of my attention. In the process, I rediscovered some deeper part of myself.” (HBR)

Plan on disconnecting? Have a plan!

Before you disconnect completely, be sure to make a plan and coordinate with colleagues to ensure nothing is overlooked while you’re unavailable. Here’s what to consider before you embrace the unplugged life:

  • Set away messages on your work phone and email, or have a colleague monitor your emails.
  • Make sure you’re covered on the social media end. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your accounts go dark. Coordinate with an employee to monitor your accounts and ensure there is a plan for most eventualities.
  • Inform clients if you’re going away for an extended period of time and give them an alternate contact person.
  • Change the message on your personal cell phone (yes, work can find you there too). Note that you’ve disconnected and share when you’ll be back among the digital denizens.

Have you ever completely disconnected? If not, maybe you should consider it. If you have disconnected, please share your thoughts here on the value of going unplugged.

Photo credit: RambergMediaImages / Foter / CC BY-SA

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