Taking A Break From The Digital World

The world we live in is highly digitized.  More than likely, your work involves some level of emailing, reading, documenting, or something else that requires you to use a computer.  Computers drive our free time as well… from reading online news articles, to using social media, to watching videos.  We are plugged in, whether we like it or not.  This constant access to information, via the web, email, etc. can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be overwhelming, overpowering… and cause us to waste a lot of time.  Here are some tips for giving yourself a break from the web.

  • Disconnect when you are done with your work.  That’s right—go offline.  This will force you to focus on work that needs to be done, and it will keep you from checking your email, Twitter account, Facebook profile, and other websites every five minutes.  Don’t worry, you can always reconnect, and the internet will still be there, waiting for you!  If you have it really bad, there are even applications that will allow you to “turn off” sites such as facebook for a certain amount of time.
  • Get away from your desk if you can.  This may give you the opportunity to refresh your brain. The change in environment can do wonders for you.  Is there a park near your office?  A coffee shop by where you work?  Sometimes even slipping away to a conference room for a while will help rejuvenate your interest and investment in the work at hand.
  • Make an Action Plan for Going Online.  If you’re working on a presentation, know what kind of research you’ll need to do.  Set aside a specific amount of time for reading and responding to emails.  Create a task list and stick to it.  The list can be very helpful in realizing how much you have accomplished and when you are getting off task.
  • Work On Your Priorities Offline.    Have an action plan for your offline work as well.  Maybe there is a report you have put off reading.  Set aside time for that.  Create a task list of things you might not normally get to because you’re online.  Your offline time is a great opportunity to knock them out.  Maybe you need to request off for vacation or schedule a doctor’s appointment, or have a conference with your coworkers for brainstorming.  There are tons of things you can get done without being on a computer!
  • Enjoy Your Time Offline!  Some of your best brainstorming ideas may come while you are offline.  Don’t be surprised—you’re giving your brain a chance to concentrate without distraction!  Use your break to do some creative problem solving, finish up writing, and lay out plans for your next projects.  You’ll be surprised what you can come up with and how quickly you can tackle it when you allow yourself a small break from the digital world!

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