How to Take a Vacation from the Grid
Saturday, August 10, 2013
by JULI SHULEM
I’ve been speaking with friends and family members who have taken the opportunity this summer to unplug their lives from all of their electronic communication systems for a little while. This should be done not just for an hour or two or while at the movies, but for a solid weekend or even several days.
We have come to completely rely on our devices to have a social life, and to know everything going on at every moment. Plus, we feel compelled to respond at the speed of light practically to every request, text, and email. There is nothing inherently wrong with this except that, as human beings, we also need time to rest and recharge, and not be on-call 24/7.
So, where can we find the time to recharge?
In working with clients, many of whom own their own business and are constantly busy, I find that they aren’t scheduling “down time.” A common complaint I hear is, “I never finish and have free time.” Well, free time won’t generally just present itself. One must actually schedule it.
For example, if you know you don’t have anything pressing on Saturday afternoon, then you can block the time off to either do absolutely nothing or perhaps phone a friend and plan something to do with them. If you don’t schedule this as an appointment with yourself, chances are you will end up doing something less restful and be back to your unending workweek, the same as always.
The negative result of being “ON” all the time is burnout, from which no one is immune. And this applies to the continual use of our devices. What would happen if you simply shut down? Well, you would be able to:
- finish a project or thought without an interruption.
- spend time in a cell-free zone and not care.
- communicate with people face-to-face rather than screen-to-screen.
- not worry about what your inbox looks like or how many hits your Facebook or LinkedIn pages have had.
- close your eyes and rest without alerts popping up to alarm you.
- seek entertainment with people instead of devices.
- simply disappear for awhile.
Being off the grid for can even feel like a little vacation, and taking a vacation from your daily life promotes the recharging and relaxing which is so very necessary. So get a jump start by ‘unplugging’ and see if that helps take your stress and ‘alert’ levels down a few notches. You may be very pleasantly surprised.
Here’s How: Pick a day, and activate a vacation auto-response, which could read something like this: “I’m taking an ‘unplugged’ holiday. I will be back in 3 days, and look forward to handling whatever this is about at that time. Have a great day!” You must remember this: The world will not come to an end because you miss a call, text, or email.