It can be easier to unplug when you’re overseas with the lack of telephone service (or the costly telephone service at least) but it can be a lot harder to detach from your mobile when you’re still on home soil. If you’re finding it difficult to unwind and even harder to switch off from work mode, perhaps breaking up with your phone over your getaway is just what the doctor ordered. So here are some tips to make it seamless.
- Work out how much you can disconnect
Know ahead of time how much you can afford to be offline. Is it a matter of you thinking you cannot be offline because you are a bit of a self-confessed control freak that likes to know what is happening at all times? Or are you at actual risk of losing your job if something goes wrong? Understand this differentiation and then use this to establish some rules.
- Let people know
Once you’ve established the above, give people the heads up (ahead of time) that you will be spending time off the grid. Regardless of physical reception, let people know that you have made the conscious decision to unplug on your holiday. For any work or family emergencies, establish some protocols (maybe you can check your personal emails once a day) but ensure you stick to your own rules. If you are seen to be available and online, people will soon feel like they can contact you.
- Be organised
Getting ready to disconnect begins well and truly before you leave your driveway. Be as organised as you can be beforehand. Finish as much work ahead of time and setup automated out of office message responses. With your automated out of office responder, leave enough information in there that will give the person who is trying to contact you another point of contact. Try to limit your return to work inbox backlog as much as possible with auto filing settings so your inbox isn’t too overwhelming for you.
- Only take personal devices with you
If you decide to totally switch off from work mode while you’re away, the easiest way to do this is to only take with your personal devices. If you do have work emails on your phone, you can easily remove them and re-add them again when you get back to work. If your work phone is your personal phone, take out the sim card and replace it with a cheap prepaid sim-card so your family and friends can still contact you if they need – this will help you avoid accidentally taking a work call while sipping on a cocktail with your girlfriends.
- Make sure you’re on board – like really on board
It’s easy to say you’re going to unplug but you have to be ready to commit to this. The biggest hurdle to disconnecting to technology is often your own self-control. So you don’t self-sabotage your digital retreat, make sure all of your pings, dings and vibrations are turned off (of course we’re referring to your notifications). Simply the sounds on your phone can leave your brain in a twinge. If you don’t want to rely on sheer will-power, organise your holiday strategies ahead of time so you don’t find yourself in the middle of the night replying to your emails while your SO is sound asleep.
These are just some strategies you can employ before your next escape. It’s so important that you take the time to relax on your holidays so you can come back refreshed and ready to go. Your work will be better off if you can take the time to unwind so when you return you can approach any problems and ideas with a revitalised perspective. Unplugging really is a win, win for everyone involved.