Once in a while all of us need a holiday from the everyday mundane that surrounds us, be it work, home, city, etc. But of late I have started feeling that we also need a break from technology :). If you sit back and think you will realize that a major part of our everyday lives is now spent addicted to technology i.e. TV, 24*7 emails (work and personal), Twitter, Facebook, What’sapp, phone calls, etc etc. And this technology addiction follows us on our holidays too, where instead of enjoying the beautiful locale that we are in we continue to live our everyday online existence (of checking various accounts and taking calls). But on the flipside the issue that people like me (with a full time job in these tough markets) grapple with is that we don’t want to be so out of touch that supervisors think that if things can be managed in our short absences then maybe we are not required at all 😉
I recently found this cartoon clip on Phd Comics that perfectly portrays this situation.
So how do you go on a holiday (from everything) while maintaining a healthy balance between a holiday, technology and work. Here are my 5 ways of actually taking a break from everything without getting a boot from the boss 😉
1. On a holiday forget about the TV and the Remote –
I think this is one of the biggest mistakes that we all Indians make, where we just trade our houses for rooms in a resort with a TV in front of us. If you just want to sit in front of the TV, then you don’t need to waste money and actually travel, just change the décor of your room and you are set. On a holiday, make an effort and step out of that hotel room, see the beautiful vista around you, meet and interact with the locals, enjoy some local activities etc. It’s like a whole new world awaits to make an acquaintance with you 🙂
2. Leave your laptop and ipad at home –
A laptop and / or an ipad are like an addiction that always tempt you to either work, watch something on them, play a game, or access social networking sites. And then it’s not a break any longer, hence its best to leave them at home. For a change carry a book or your kindle, spend time & speak with your family and friends or just enjoy the solitude and make new friends (if you are solo).
3. For office work, plan in advance and have a back-up –
I plan my vacations in advance and normally try and clear all work related deadlines before I leave. In fact I start reminding everyone around me that I will not be in office for so many days, so if there is anything to be done please tell me in advance. And this works nearly every time. I also update another colleague about what I am doing and who all they can approach in my absence for any emergencies. This takes care of any unforeseen issues and lets me enjoy my vacation in peace (with no frantic phone calls, emails, etc that can spoil my holiday).
4. Keep a Smart phone and check your emails only once in a day –
Ideally you should not access emails at all but I have found that accessing emails once in a day works best for me. I have my official email and personal email accounts configured on my phone and put an out of office on my official email account before I leave. Still I access my emails once a day and forward all important emails to others who can action on them and leave it at that. I don’t think about them again or follow up with my colleagues.
As far as social networking goes, I am sure that you can manage cutting out of that loop for a short while. After all you won’t miss much if you don’t get to know about your friends new haircut or dress 🙂 I just access various social networks once in the day to send picture postcards to everyone and say that I am fine. I never bother to scroll down the screen for updates.
5. Charter your own personal plan and stick to it
Everyone is different, face different situations and compulsions and even have their own ways of dealing with things. Hence what works for me may not necessarily work for everyone else. So take the time and set your own rules based on what works best for you. You don’t necessarily need to take the extreme line (either ways) but just decide on what you want and then stick to it.
Disconnecting from technology is not a bad thing and though I have never been able to cut off completely myself, I know of people who have and believe it to be one of the best things that they have done on a holiday. And at times I can imagine why. If I am sitting in a beautiful location with a gorgeous view in front of me, then who cares about what’s happening back at home or work. I eventually have to return to face it so I might as well enjoy this short respite for as long as I can. And you can always catch up on the happenings when you return.
To sum this up in the end, I guess I agree with this comic strip above when it says that, at times you need to disconnect to really connect. 🙂
Have you ever tried cutting off from technology while on a holiday? What works best for you to help you cut off? Please do share below or tweet at traveler_budget 🙂