You may be like me. You always have your mobile phone handy. You have a watch that vibrates when your phone rings so you don’t miss a call. You sleep with your phone next to your bed, just in case. And your phone is not just for phone calls, it is for emails, texts, WeChat, WhatsApp, Skype, and FB Messenger. Sometimes I stop and think what has technology done? But then I realize, it does not matter what technology has done, it is how we handle it.
On many vacations I have my phone with me all powered up and ready to receive messages from any of the seven ways I mentioned above. I try to stay away from it and look at it less, but somehow I find myself checking messages. I do not think it is because I want to, I think it is just a habit. Of course I care about my business, but sometimes you need to power yourself down or that vacation is not much of a vacation.
December 9th was my birthday (make a note to send a card next year) and I wanted to get away for a relaxing, no interruption spa vacation for a few days. I told the team in my office they could not contact me unless it was a real real emergency which they could no way handle without me. I deleted my email, messenger, Skype and most other communication apps from my phone. I changed the notifications and ring to only go off if it were my CFO or office manager. All the other calls went right to VM and texts went unannounced. I left my laptop and iPad at home. And you know what…it was fantastic. I could feel my stress level drop. I relaxed at the spa and did not think about my phone. I knew my people could handle things and I just needed to let go. It was really fantastic. I figured it was the longest I had gone without checking emails in 13 years.
So why am I telling you this? Because if you are like me, I want you to do this. To disconnect for just a few days. Start small and work your way up to more time. I hope to travel to one of the Islands in February and to disconnect again. This time for six days. One day maybe I will get to two weeks (A boy can dream right).