I'm writing this on the eve of my annual vacation to the lake. This vacation is an actual vacation (unlike a recent trip to Disney World). However, @@on vacation, you get to choose how connected or disconnected you really are.@@
We like to say "I am going to disconnect this vacation!" Then, it doesn't actually happen. But it can! I want to share a few ways I intentionally unplug on my annual vacation.
1. I Go FitLess
This one may seem odd, but I leave my FitBit at home. You may not be wired like me, but everyday I strive pretty hard to reach 10,000 steps and burn a certain amount of calories. Therefore, I look at my FitBit close to 100 times each day. This is energy I'd rather not spend this week, and it's a habit (while a positive habit) that I'd like to know I can live without.
2. I Read People, Not Processes
99% of the books, blogs and articles I take in are about processes - how to move someone or something from point A to point B. Anything other than this feels like a waste of time, even though I know there is value in it. Therefore, vacation is my time for biographies, not business books. I read 2 biographies a year. One between Christmas and New Year's and one in July. This year it's Team Of Rivals, a biography of Abraham Lincoln.
3. I'm Not Only "Out Of Office"
An Out Of Office response is a no-brainer. But it doesn't keep emails from showing up on your device. Nowadays, you can set up and sync your email account to your device in literally seconds. Therefore, for your vacation, delete it! That's right! Whatever email app you use, just delete it. If you "must" have email on vacation, setup a new address like "email@example.com" (this isn't mine WINK) and give it to only those who must email you. Chances are, though, they can just call or text you.
4. I Am Antisocial
I keep Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on my phone, because these are the days that spending time browsing through my feed is actually productive, versus a huge distraction. I'll even share photos on Instagram, but all my notifications are turned off. If someone follows, likes or comments, I'm not notified. Because (and maybe I'm the only one out there like this) positive social feedback is quite addictive.
Like I said, you can stay as connected as you want on vacation. @@Staying connected on vacation comes at the cost of connecting with God and others.@@ It will also minimize the amount of energy and enthusiasm you return to work with. It's your decision...