Summer means recharging your batteries - we collected some great advice from our offices on how to disconnect during the holiday
Getting ready for vacation? Did you know that we touch our iphones 80 times a day? Some say it hinders us to be creative and most likely we have all had the feeling that we are not 100% present! So what to do during vacation? We asked around at the Innovation Labs to hear colleagues how they unplug and some thoughts about the importance to do so….
As a startup-entrepreneur I don’t think I’ll be able to completely disconnect this summer, but I have decided to:
1) Use my phone’s feature “do not disturb” for at least 10 hours every day. 2) Not keep my phone on my bedside table as I’m going to sleep for as long as I want!
3) I’m going to carrying my old Leica camera around with me instead of my technical devices.
Over the last 4 years, I’ve been playing around the concept of “workcation” – combining work and travel in pursuit of an optimal lifestyle for restless individuals. I even got a Podcast about it at www.remotivationpodcast.com. But this summer for the first time in a long time, I will try to disconnect fully. And to do so I have chosen a jungle retreat outside the coast of Sumatra. Here, I will ride waves all day, do Yoga and watch the most breathtaking sunsets. That should at least be a good start.
The board game HINT is a favorite in my family – and absolutely no mobile devices around. Even teenagers don’t complain when asked to leave their phones in the other room. The competition, being together and the personal involvement makes all players 100% relaxed and just have fun. Board gaming is a great face-to-face activity – leaving phones and ipads behind. No wonder why retailers see an increase in sales of all kinds of board games. And the Danish developed game HINT is really fun. Check it out! To be creative, remember to play (be inspired by the TED talk by Tim Brown from IDEO about creativity and play). This year I will also “try” a family iphone detox – from 11.00 to 17.00 for 2 days. Wonder how that will end!
I find that changing environment is the best way to relax and disconnect, so I never miss a chance to take a little trip. I always have a mobile phone on me, especially when traveling – using google maps, checking TripAdvisor or posting an occasional Instagram story. In reality – I’m never truly disconnected from my devices. But I always make sure to set an automatic e-mail response and turn off all the notifications for e-mail and social media apps. This way I can avoid distractions and only check my messages when I feel like it!
In my job, I need to stay updated on a lot of areas within new tech, organizational development, innovation formats…and of course my colleagues! This means, that I – amongst others – manage to sign up for a lot of newsletters throughout the year. As summer approaches, I use this opportunity to clean out in my subscriptions really thinking about, where I will get the very best and condensed information onwards. A sort of digital detox which helps me stay focused and ready for when the holidays end.
I do 1-2 hours of analog reading daily but hope to increase that to 4-6 hours during July though I also have 4-500 unread tabs in my phone that I need to file in Evernote – because it is really important to start with a clean slate in August. But most importantly, I unwind by drinking a lot of red wine while doing different projects on my kolonihavehus or gazing at the horizon in France with a notebook in my pocket. Having ditched SoMe I already leave my phone in the charger from morning to evening.
I’m one of those who doesn’t travel in July since it’s so busy with other travelers. When I’m unwinding but still at home I work on a daily meditation and yoga practice. Making sure to bring myself back to the present, reconnect with my thoughts, ideas, and emotions helps recharge me. When it’s hard to disconnect on my own I use apps like Insight Timer to guide me through it. We can’t all go to Sumatra (Marcus ;)) so I try to create a small space at home where I can block the world out for half an hour a day and really allow myself to be alone with my thoughts.
I go off the grid for a week. I use the phone as GPS and perhaps light reading or a casual game, but mails, SMS, IM are all off. For me it is not the no-screen option, rater the no-outside-comms option.
Also, when I do connect again, the phone is not in my pocket, unless for safety purposes, e.g. when in a small boat or hiking. I always bring my laptop, but I plan to not use it, and rarely do, except for when the kids want to crash an watch a movie. (No Netflix in Sweden) -At least that what I tell them.
I usually have 3 weeks of complete offtime in an offline area. I need to go cold turkey on all connectivity! at least once a year. Books, people, food take the place of email, project work, and research. It is a great way to shortcut answers to bigger questions – and something I tend to do every Saturday as well. Off buttons are crucial to online existence and thrival – otherwise, we lose touch of what is essential and end up as the debris that Nicholas Carr describes in Shallows. Get grounded! and post about it later. Inhale!
I feel that the best digital detox for me is getting outside in nature, being active or traveling. Most of the time I have the phone with me, but it is used only for taking photos or checking directions. I usually tend to be less connected during the weekends, when I don’t check e-mails or SoMe. However, having a few longer digital detox breaks during the year that allow to disconnect fully are very important to me as well.