Technology has many benefits, but too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing. For many people, the difficulty of disconnecting from work is a chronic stressor. These days, it’s no longer just your boss leaning in and asking you to do the TPS reports over your weekend – it’s that they can ask you to do them while you’re on a plane, in a movie theatre, on the back of a motorcycle, etc. We’ve included 5 helpful tips on ways to unplug when you leave the office – and let your boss and others down gently.
Build Your Digital Boundaries
We’re always available, so it’s easy to answer just one quick text here and another Tweet there. The problem is that while you’re busy doing that you’re also busy ignoring your favorite people and/or activities.
If you put boundaries in place, it should help you and whoever is at the receiving end of your impending breakdown. By not answering work texts, emails, carrier pigeons, etc. between certain hours, people will quickly get the picture (or you’ll get fired, but who wants to work for that boss anyway).
If the problem persists, just talk to whomever the offenders are and tell them clearly which times they can and which times they cannot contact you.
Take a Break from Social Media
“This Instagram post will make or break my life”–said no one in the history of social media. That post will be there and gone in a flash. If you find yourself navigating back towards your Facebook account, even after promising yourself you wouldn’t, programs like Self Control and Freedom allow you to take breaks. If you’re a heavy user, you will get withdrawal symptoms, but it’ll feel so powerful to come out as the victor over the lifesuck that is social media.
Get Out of Town
The next time someone you know complains about the lack of internet connectivity somewhere, ask them where it was and jot it down. Going to places where people can’t contact you is really the best way to get away from it all.
Being constantly connected may be a major reason why events like Burning Man are growing at an exponential rate. It’s widely understood that you won’t be answering your phone while there, and that’s for a multitude of reasons. It’s an unspoken “don’t ask, don’t text” kind of agreement. Not even your mother can get ahold of you there. It’s just glorious.
Meditation is kinda like going to the gym, for many of us, it takes a while to pluck up the courage and actually do it. Studies show that meditation makes people feel happier. Just 2 mins a day can make a significant difference. Apps like Headspace offer free meditations to get you started.
Turn off your phone
This is a bold move. We haven’t tried this, but we’re hoping to get there one day. In this case, the power button could be seen as a life switch; turn it off and real life is suddenly on. It’s the moment when Will Smith finally disables the main computer in iRobot, it’s the crowning moment where you beat the digital world at its game, it’s the revenge of real life.