I’m back from my technology break and feeling rejuvenated from the downtime. The last few posts have been about my technology breaks, but this time I thought I’d share some quick easy tips on how to make yours even easier.
Even if you don’t carry a laptop with you, if you have a smartphone taking a technology break can seem quite challenging. With just a click of a couple buttons you can have all the information you crave right in front of you. Here are some of the tricks I have used when taking breaks from technology:
1. Ditch the Phone. Leave the phone in your room when journeying out or lock it up in the hotel safe. If you don’t have the phone with you won’t even have the temptation. You might feel a little naked at first if you always take your phone with you, but after awhile you might start to feel a little more free. This might be a new experience for the younger generation, but for those of us old-timers who remember the days without cell phones it’s a nice jaunt down memory lane.
2. Rearrange the Apps. Move your favorite connection apps (like Facebook, Mail, Twitter, etc) to one of the back pages of your phone. This is what I did on my recent trip. I still wanted to be able to use my phone on occasion for phone calls and as a camera, but I find that when I unlock my phone, if Facebook or the Mail apps are staring me right in the face I’m more likely to click on them than if I don’t see them at all.
3. Use Airplane Mode. If you want to take your phone with you to serve as a camera, calculator, music device, emergency phone, or other functions but still want to disconnect from Mail and other social media, turn off the connection!
4. Visit No-Service Zones. Consider visiting places your connection isn’t very good or doesn’t exist at all. Although this may seem extreme, if disconnecting is one of the goals of your trip, it can be helpful to select a destination that supports that. When I visited the middle-of-nowhere Canada a few years ago, disconnecting from technology wasn’t really a goal, but being “forced” to go without any type of connection really changed my viewpoint.
5. Notify Others of Unavailability. Change your voicemail and set up your vacation notifications on your email to let others know that you’re not available until you chosen return date and that you won’t be returning phone calls or email until this date. Let your Facebook (or other social media) friends know that you’re taking a break. This is quite simply managing expectations. When you let people know about your intentions you can release yourself from any guilt you may be having about disconnecting.
What tricks have you used when taking technology breaks?