Our lives are ruled by the technology in them. And we love it most of the time. But every now and then we feel the urge to leave the phone at home and turn the email off, right? If you don’t get that feeling, that’s either because you aren’t glued to your job through your phone or email, or you don’t realize how much you are actually using tech in your life. But if you do wish you could unplug every now and then and let your brain take a breather, this article is for you. Here’s how you can let go of all the technology that bogs you down and take a tech-free holiday, whether that’s a weekend away from the fast-paced internet, or a month-long trek through the mountains with nothing but a good pair of shoes and a rucksack full of food.
The first thing to do to work toward your tech-free holiday is to track how much often you use technology in your life. For example, if you find yourself enthralled with your email before your workday even starts, write down how long you think you were using your smartphone or laptop to check your email. Be generous with your time because it’s likely that you are underestimating how long you are spending doing these things. Pay attention throughout the day how often you pick up your phone or check your email when you are working on other things. Estimates point out that people spend at least 5 hours a day on their smartphones! So take stock of how much your life is impacted by technology and then get ready to start breaking away.
As you prepare to go for a full weekend, week, or month without technology, start by reducing the number of hours you spend on the internet. If you are, in fact on your phone for up to 5 hours a day, start by reducing your internet time to 4 hours. Then try 3 hours, and continue to reduce by an hour each week until it is time to go without your phone, internet, and laptop. When you feel the urge to check your email, remind yourself that you are entitled to personal time, and your email will be there tomorrow. That’s the beauty of email. It’s not going anywhere.
Set Some Goals
The more that passes, the more you will realize that you don’t actually need to have your phone by your side all day long. If you have been reducing your internet time, phone time, and laptop time, try leaving your phone home for an afternoon when you go out to run errands. It seems impossible because you want people to be able to reach you, but give it a try. Set a goal to leave your phone at home a few afternoons a week to give yourself some distance from your internet life.
Plan to Check-In
As you prepare to go on an adventure, or even just take a weekend off from the internet and your smartphone, be sure to let people know what you are doing so they don’t panic that they can’t reach you. Make a plan to check in with family using traditional methods, like a phone call, instead of checking email. People will try to negotiate with you to take your phone or check your email, but resist the urge give in if this is something you want to do. People will get over it.
Give Yourself a Break
It may be really hard for you to separate yourself from your email and an internet connection, social media, and constant contact with people in your lives, but it is worth the effort. When you look up from your phone, you’ll notice that life is happening all around you. So if you are trying to take a break from your phone, give yourself some room to figure out what that looks like for you. Perhaps you take one day a week off, or you go full throttle and take a whole week off. Either way, you’ll be glad you did. Because here is the thing: regardless of where you are, if there is an emergency or if you need to reach a family member, there are plenty of phones within arm’s reach that you could use. And if you must bring your phone, be sure to turn off your internet service so you have to consciously turn it on to check email and can catch yourself falling into old habits easier.