If these two little words – digital detox – bring on the cold sweats, then you’ve got it bad! Basically a digital detox is disconnecting yourself from the grid for a set period, ie no emails, no social media, no texts, no phone calls! But 1 in 3 travellers have failed at a digital detox by succumbing to reading and replying to work emails.
And when we finally get the opportunity to go on a hard earned holiday, we should take full advantage of the chance to disconnect for a while. Enforced digital detox breaks are becoming fashionable where resorts have no wi-fi (gasp) and no mobile phone signal – yes, these destinations do still exist!
More than 70% of travellers hop onto their laptops, tablets and mobile devices when away and only a third of travellers who consciously planned a digital detox actually managed it. Worryingly 50% of people polled returned to 100 and 500 work emails, with an average three days needed to catch up.
With our tips and advice you can wean yourself off those pesky digital distractions for a few days at least;
Top 7 Steps to implement a Digital Detox Break
- Tell your boss, colleagues and clients the dates that you’ll be away and explain that you’ll be uncontactable for the duration. Prepare a handover document for your colleagues with details of your projects along with contact details for suppliers etc. Pre-planning is absolutely key and the problem with a busy working day is that you’re expected to be contactable 24/7 – but with a pre-travel handover meeting and planning document in place, there will be no reason to need to contact you whilst away. And finally, switch your out-of-office message on your email system.
- Deliberately choose a hotel or resort that has no wi-fi, no computers and no mobile signal. That way there is no temptation. That said, a few years ago in Mauritius I traipsed miles along a rocky beach in the rain to get to the promised land, aka the internet café in the town!
- Choose a holiday that suits going off the grid, such as a camping, walking or beach break. Here time matters a lot less than being on a city break or an organised tour where timing is the main focus. There are specialist travel companies springing up that offer digital detox retreats where you can spend the time meditating, practicing yoga, walking, painting and cooking.
- Wean yourself off twitter and facebook in the run up to your break and remember that all those messages, amusing pictures and zany videos will still be waiting for you on your return. Will you really miss knowing what your favourite celeb had for breakfast?!
- Don’t talk about work at all – avoiding the subject completely will reduce the urge to reconnect.
- Go old-school and pack a whole load of books and magazines to distract from the fact that you can’t use your e-reader.
- Detox your accounts before you head off – unsubscribe from any emails that are no longer of interest and delete any old RSS feeds. That way you’ll return to fewer emails.