How to Unplug in a World of Connectivity

How to Unplug

In today’s bustling business world if you’re not perpetually connected, you probably aren’t up to speed.

With messages constantly bombarding our inboxes, phones and social media pages, it’s easy to feel uneasy about disconnecting. News and events can change within minutes, and going on vacation can feel a bit daunting for the fear of missing out (also known as “FOMO”).

While summers shrink and vacations are cut short, it is important to note that according to recent data from TIME, “169 million vacation days go unused and do not carry over” for Americans. Even if time off is taken, the survey still reports: “Thirty-five percent of millennials reported that they worked every day of their vacations, and felt less productive when they returned.” I am part of the statistic – I have never taken a vacation without monitoring my inbox every morning or even completing a task.

So what is it that makes us feel obligated to connect? For myself, it’s the feeling of responsibility, wanting to satisfy and serve our clients as best as possible and never ignore the connection to my communities. It can be a variety of reasons for anyone, but according to TIME, millennials like myself are “plugged in and productive each and every day, no matter if they’re supposedly not working that week.” Constant monitoring and responsiveness now seems to be ingrained into our generation’s DNA.

How do we have the best of both worlds? Enjoying our vacation and coming back fresh, without feeling like we’re missing out or throwing our responsibilities to the wayside? Below, I have compiled a few brief tips for those, like myself, who should (and can) resolve to unplug for a more productive life:

1. Share your responsibilities

Communicate everything to be completed in your absence so nothing is left to chance. Provide pertinent information and access information to team members so they are able to assist.

2. Use monitoring tools

If you operate social media channels or data on behalf of your client, be aware that business doesn’t stop when you leave; use tools with push notifications to monitor on a designated basis. While you don’t want to miss a crisis, assign someone who can respond immediately if something goes awry. If you’re like me, bring your laptop with you for peace of mind, just in case.

3. Set realistic expectations

If your mind is constantly wandering to work, set a specific number of times you will check-in to put your mind at ease. Communicate and respond when absolutely necessary, otherwise you can simply monitor until your return.

4. Communicate how to be reached

It’s not unheard of to go on vacation. You don’t need to overshare information about your trip, but simply alert your clients and co-workers of how and when you will be reachable.

My next long vacation just so happens to be next month – think I’ve got what it takes to effectively implement these tips?

Carolyn Rasley
Senior Account Executive

Work at SHIFT

Posted on February 15, 2017 in Agency Life

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