I’ve read a lot about “disconnecting” and with summer in full swing, many people are taking breaks where they have little to no digital connectivity.
I recently had one of these – 5 days with no cell phone reception or wifi (confession: I cheated once and went into town for wifi).
Some of you may think “great – time to relax and recharge”.
I say absolutely not.
Not being connected was stressful and actually limited my ability to relax.
It was stressful knowing that IF something came up that there was no way for anyone to get in touch with me (and our sites went down for almost 24 hours while I was out of touch which could have been quickly fixed if I had been available).
Being in touch actually helps me to relax. Checking in for 30 minutes a day to handle any urgent or high-value emails helps me to relax, knowing that everything is running smoothly in my absence and I can quickly help with anything needed. Plus I actually like my job and knowing what is going on – work isn’t this big negative thing that I have to deal with.
I don’t need to enter a no-connectivity zone to disconnect, relax and ignore work either. On weekends I often go most of the weekend barely checking my phone. I’m not fully out of touch, but I’m not connected to the point of distraction.
My final verdict: Figure out how to relax and recharge during your life without fully disconnecting. Maybe some people find value in fully disconnecting electronically – for me, it added stress instead of reducing it.