Unplugging Yourself from a
Today’s tablets and smartphones allow you to take your work anywhere and everywhere, including your daily train commute or to the weekend sports field sidelines. This ability to be permanently connected to the rest of the world has led to an “always available” mentality. How often do you stop something to check a message on your phone? Is your phone within reach during mealtimes and when you watch television? Is it the last thing you look at before sleeping and the first thing you check in the morning?
Here are our top 5 tips for taking a break from your electronic world (and most likely your work!):
1. Start your day, then your phone: Does your morning routine consist of waking up, checking your phone and then getting out of bed? Start your day before you start your phone. Enjoy some time to yourself before opening your brain to the interruptions of the outside world. This is especially important if you have breakfast with other family members. Checking your email can help you to plan your day, but see if you can fit in a shower and a coffee before switching to thoughts of your schedule.
2. Leave it behind: It may be too difficult to go one entire day without your phone, especially a working day, but do you really need it in your hand every minute? When you have a mental break and step away from your computer, leave your phone at your desk too. Tell your colleagues that you’ll be back in ten minutes and go for a walk without your electronic device. Calls can all be returned when you’re back at your desk.
3. The amnesty box: Create an amnesty box in each meeting room for phones & tablets to be deposited into at the start of a meeting. Talk to one another and write any main points or action items on a whiteboard. At the end of the meeting, you can grab your phone and enter any new tasks or take a photo of the entire whiteboard. This prevents people from becoming distracted by social media and applications. Adopt this box at home too and include everyone’s iPods/MP3 players when some technology-free time is needed, especially at mealtimes.
4. Time out: Set some time schedules for ignoring the internet. This could include “no technology before 8 AM or after 8 PM” or “no phones for one hour after getting home.” Resist the temptation to check work emails before going to bed. If you need to stay available, place your phone on a shelf or in a nearby room with the volume set loud enough for you to not miss any important calls.
5. Airplane mode on the ground: If your phone is also your morning alarm clock, turn on Airplane Mode before you go to sleep. This will turn off your data connection and mobile phone signal, preventing late night social media notifications and wrongly dialed number calls. If you must be available to take phone calls after business hours, turn off just your mobile data connection and your Wi-Fi. If you are having a day off and still want internet access, just turn off the connection to your work email account, so you’re not tempted to check that new message beep.
Of course, you could always remove the social media applications from your phone and only check Facebook from a computer!
Talk to your local Computer Troubleshooters about the connection settings and application settings on your phone or for any of your technology needs.