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Businesses Blog

Time for the holidays - 10 steps on how to do your digital detox

22nd July 2016
  1. PhonesDare to detox: Be clear about why you need a digital detox while you take your break from work. We all need a break and a holiday is the best time to completely switch-off, mentally and digitally. Make the most of activities and enjoy things which are totally non-digital as much as you can. Breaks work best when they make us return to our ‘normal’ lives, work and digital devices with a fresh sense of being productive, creative and enjoyable.
  2. Exit your email: It still amazes me how many people think it’s perfectly okay to let your emails stack up whilst you are on your holiday. This of course means that when you get back your first one, two or even three days will be completely taken up playing email-catch-up! So let’s not do that anymore. Instead, make sure all your key contacts know you are on leave, put an auto-reply on your email indicating that no email will be stored whilst you are away, and get a colleague to manage any which still do come in (and not just put people off until you’re back at your desk either).
  3. Put down those phones: These really do need to be put away for the holidays too. Set up the answerphone message to let people know when you’ll be back in action. IF you use your mobile smartphone for photos – why not try taking a ‘proper’ camera and re-learning some of the conventions of good photography in the process. Give up social media for the duration of your break – it will really help to switch off. And if you need an emergency number then buy a cheapy and pop in a top-up card.
  4. Stay away from social media: We all know how much we enjoy sharing our holiday moments and especially the photos with friends, family and colleagues. But how about we add a bit of discipline into how this part of our digital lives can really takeover when we allow it. So – instead of clicking and uploading pics as you go along, wait until the end of the week or even better the end of the holiday – create an album with your comments and memories and savour it before uploading. The minute we upload pics on social networks we start to interact with comments and reactions, and before you know your day is gone!
  5. Nurture your notepads: Yes, paper ones! It does us all good to reconnect with our experience of writing things down, doodling and drawing as well as capturing thoughts. A welcome way to bring some non-digital fun back in for a few weeks. Treat yourself to a lovely, pretty, funky notebook and pen to pack into the suitcase.
  6. Revel in reading: Now I’m a big fan of ‘proper’ paper books for my holiday. But I’ll admit this is an area where digital can sneak in a little bit. And that’s because recently I’ve really enjoyed audio-books and recognise how they can help me relax (too much – I fall asleep!). So treat yourself to your real books to pack, but allow yourself audio-books on an app if not.
  7. Non-digital novelties: Try to find new activities to enjoy and try-out on your holiday. Even better, something which will give you a sense of digital detox when you are back in ‘normal’ life mode – it may be as simple of walking, or a new sport or hobby (horse-riding perhaps). Find something which really inspires and motivates you and could provide you with a great balance away from digital devices.
  8. Revel in the reconnection: The holiday experience gives us all golden opportunities to take life slower, to recognise all the wonderful and beautiful things around us, to take-in new scenery and landscapes. These things may be around us every day, but we take them for granted as we rush around like worker ants. So make the most of time and space and the ability to recognise natural wonders.
  9. Be a people person: You can also use the holiday environment and context to refresh your social skills and enjoy the experience of meeting lots of new people and learning about their culture, lives and places. Retrain yourself in the ‘art of being human’ – it’s what sets us apart from the robots after all!
  10. Pokémon No: Please don’t get hooked by the latest app or game as you head out on your holidays!