Summer is our time to kick back, enjoy some time for family and vacations, and relax. In our 24/7 world, this is hard. We are tethered to our work with our technology. There are good reasons to take a break. NASA researchers recently found that vacationers experienced an 82% increase in job performance post-trip. Performance expert Tony Schwartz says, in addition to being rejuvenating, relaxing helps your brain take in new information more easily and enhances your creativity. Summer gives us the opportunity to deeply connect to our family in a less structured environment. With more time to talk and be together, relationships take on new meaning. We all do our best when we have the opportunity to rejuvenate and reconnect.
Setting boundaries for your technology
It’s a choice to answer the phone, check your email, and step away from the computer. Head out with your head in the holiday game! Look forward to the time you are resting, relaxing, being adventurous and being away from every day. Set yourself up for success by leaving processes in place for those around you in the office with procedures to follow.
If you are the type that can’t leave home without it being spotless, give yourself time to get your home ready. Get the laundry done, your mail sorted and your home in tip top shape the week before. Clear your plate as much as you can at home and work.
Unplug for a day: For You
- Take a day during the middle of the week to take off. Plan a “field trip” for yourself to a local museum, Farmer’s Market, or destination you have wanted to visit, but never have the time.
- Plan a day camp for your kids at a local community college or YMCA, then head home and sit in the quiet. Read a book or magazines you have been waiting to read for a while.
- Set a boundary to check your email only in the morning on Saturday. Spend the day doing and connecting with your family or on your own.
Unplug for a day: Your Kids
- Set aside a day to play cards, board games or family charades.
- Go fishing with your kids for a day at a lake or in Galveston.
- Establish screen time boundaries for daily living in your home, such as technology at dinner.
Unplug for a week: a big leap!
- Take your cell phone for just emergency, but take off from your email, leaving behind an auto-responder directing people to connect with those at work who can assist them.
- Take a stay-cation at home for a week, just to enjoy area destinations you and your family have not visited. No packing required, but staying on the vacation mindset is. Connect with your family and establish tech-free times. Play games, go to the pool, and ride bikes as ways to connect without your technology.
- Take a vacation and plan your day’s activities. Use the internet for coupons and sightseeing, but not for email. Leave all the technology at the hotel, safely stored.
- Give yourself an extra day to get back into the groove at home and work. Return home early or take Monday off to get this extra time. No meetings or appointments on this day! If your laundry is overwhelming, take it to the Laundromat for the “fluff and fold” treatment. Be brutal about paper and mail and cull only what must be kept and acted on.
- Break away from being overwhelmed by making a list and prioritizing what needs to be done.
In the end, it is all about taking the opportunity for intentional and mindful technology use. Truly we feel our best and do our best work because of relationships and renewal! You will be very glad you did!