I promise you, there’s no better time that the end of the year to finally unplug for a few days of digital detox.
For once, nobody really wants to work, so unlike the your annual holiday, there’s no FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
However, having spent eleven and a half months glued to your screen, you might find your digital habit harder to break than originally anticipated.
Preparedness is key if you really want to break up with the internet (for Christmas at least.)
The first step is to divide your digital needs into the essential and the distracting. Clear out everything you use to pass time during your commute or weekly status meetings. However, you will probably still need your banking app and google maps.
It may also be a good idea to lock yourself out of your social media accounts for the duration. A good way to ensure you don’t sneak back is to entrust a loyal and (very) close friend to change your password on your behalf; returning it to you on your first day back to work.
Avoiding emails can be harder, especially the higher you advance up the chain of command. It takes a whole heap of willpower to not check in during family down time. As leaders you have a responsibility to set a good example to your workforce. Sending emails on Christmas eve will only stress out your staff. You’re encroaching on the time they need to rest up for (hopefully) a busy new year.
On the flip side, if your boss is emailing you on your holiday, you’ve only yourself to blame if you respond. Making yourself unavailable is the first step to ensuring you keep hold of your own time. An out of office that doesn’t point irritants towards your mobile phone number ‘in an emergency’* is a really strong start.
Using the final few working days of the season to make clear your plans is also an excellent opportunity to spread the digital detox message of good cheer. Informing colleagues of your intentions will hopefully encourage them to think twice about creating a work problem to ease their own festive boredom.
There’s a lot of power in boredom, so use yours for positive means. Read books, speak to people you would normally avoid, volunteer some of your new-found free time to a cause that inspires you. Don’t allow this opportunity to digitally detox to pass you by for another year.
*this is design, there are very few emergencies.