At TMG we love our technology. We’re connected to our smartphones, our tablets and our laptops. We hold virtual meetings with clients and staff all over the country and even the world daily. We keep up with the technology trends within and outside of the industry to ensure that we are providing our client partners with the best and most recent technological opportunities available. Like most people however, sometimes we tend to be too attached to our devices and don’t necessarily disconnect as frequently as we need to. After compiling some tactics that our own team uses, we’re sharing the tips and tricks of “disconnecting” that work for us.
- Wake up and keep the device(s) down. Start your morning by doing your regular routine, get ready, grab breakfast (specifically coffee) and then head to work. You’ll be in front of your email, devices, etc. all day so keep your morning your time to start the day. If this makes you panic, you can try doing it one day a week and then slowly work your way until the mornings of your entire week are free of distractions.
- PTO means email is a NO. When you’re on vacation or out of the office and using your paid time off, stay Unless there is a crisis don’t answer your email-don’t even look at it. If you’re going away for a longer period of time, tie loose ends up and put together a process that someone else can pick up and follow and only contact you as a last resort. This can apply to weekends too. While sometimes it’s unavoidable, weekend email time should be limited if not eliminated.
- Go on a digital diet. We limit our carbs, we limit calories and we limit desserts but we don’t limit how much time we spend on our devices, on email or poking around on social media. Try cutting back on the unnecessary time you’re on a device by starting with social media. Not seeing your Facebook notifications more than three times a day is okay. If you feel that you have to check your accounts, check in the middle of the day and then walk away. Posting that picture on Instagram at the exact moment it’s happening is not going to change the world.
- Family only-no devices allowed! It wasn’t until my oldest daughter took my phone and started to pretend to type and said “Look, I’m like you Mommy! I’m working!,” that I realized my devices were monopolizing the most precious time of my life-my family time. When you’re at your children’s’ baseball games, having family dinner or even just watching a movie at home, make it a point to eliminate the use of any device. If they look at you and see that you’re on your phone and not listening to them tell you about their day, they are going to stop engaging. If you have to check email or messages, save it for after they are in bed.
- Go “semi” off the grid. Some of our team members try and unplug when they are on long flights (or any flights!) so that when they arrive for the event or meeting, they are refreshed and ready for their members. While it may not be a reality to turn off everything for the entire flight, it’s a good idea to limit the time you’re online.
If you struggle with disconnecting, try doing things that do not allow the use of any kind of device-fishing, hiking, yoga-whatever you can think of you where you cannot be connected or have any kind of technology in your hand. Take baby steps if needed, doing one thing at a time to limit you “connectivity.” Technology is amazing and allows us to provide our client partners with the best service possible, but even our brains need a break from the screens of devices.