Don’t read this post – at least not today!

Best of 2015, first published on July 3, 2015
This holiday advice works as well in December as it did last July. I hope that you are able to rest and recharge over our winter break. And yes, I did take that vacation in August and I did disconnect. It felt great!

–Dee Anne Bonebright

Assuming WordPress works as it’s supposed to, this post will come out on July 3, which is a holiday for MnSCU. I’m writing it beforehand and setting it to automatically post, but I’m also planning to log in on Friday to make sure it worked. And while I’m there, I’ll probably check my email. And maybe do a couple of things to be sure I’m ready for the following week…

iphone at lunchDoes that sound familiar? Technology can be a great benefit for leaders, but it also means work can follow you 24/7.  Foresters, a global financial services firm, researched the impact of technology on personal lives and found that 43% of participants thought electronic devices make it impossible to truly “leave work at work” and be fully present for their families. Almost half thought that technology was ruining the family vacation.

Foresters started a Tech Time Out challenge that encourages families to take a break from technology.  Check out this short video introduction and visit their website for ideas.

Here are some other tips about how to disconnect on your next vacation, whether it’s a couple of hours, a day, or even longer:

  1. picard readingLeave the laptop at home. Don’t tempt yourself by bringing work on vacation.  If you want to read for pleasure, bring a Kindle or follow Captain Picard’s advice and try a hard-copy book.
  2. Delete work email from your phone. Set up a vacation notification and give your number to someone who can contact you if there’s a real emergency.
  3. Disable notifications from all your social media sites.
  4. Get away from it all. Consider an unplugged vacation to somewhere with no access to TV, wifi, or phone connections.

The tech site gizmodo.com recommends figuring out what will work for you and setting up a plan in advance. Vacations are supposed to be a time to relax and re-charge, so identify what technology will support that and what won’t. Decide how you want to use tech while you’re away from the office, and then stick to it.

I’m still planning to log in on Friday, but I’m taking a real vacation in August and will follow the tips above. What can you do this summer to disconnect and refresh?

Dee Anne Bonebright

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