During my vacation, I had a pretty effective “digital detox” where I stayed off of social media and didn't even take a laptop with me. I had my iPhone (for using maps and checking email twice a day) and an iPad (for reading books, web surfing to help with the vacation details, and a few short email replies). Not having a great international data plan sure forces a bit of discipline about not always looking at one's phone. Limiting yourself to use on wi-fi, for the most part (with the exception of Google Maps on the go), really helps.
A few lessons learned from the trip that I'll carry forward and share with others:
1) There's a little-publicized way to temporarily download Google Maps data into your phone so that you can use Google Maps more easily when your data is turned off. Learn more about this.
2) I set many apps so that they did NOT use cellular data when I had international roaming turned on. This included apps like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I limited my international cellular data to apps like Google Maps and Uber. I might leave some apps as “wi-fi only” so that I'm not as tempted to, say, play with Twitter while waiting in line at a store.
3) One experiment that I will DEFINITELY continue is having more app notifications turned off on my iPhone. I had already done this on my iPad so that I could, for example, read a Kindle book without notifications interrupting me at the top of the screen or the middle of the screen. Turning off notifications for, say, Twitter and Facebook means fewer interruptions and less temptation to look at the apps unless I'm consciously choosing to do so.
4) Not having a keyboard, not having my laptop, meant I wasn't really tempted to write any long emails while I was away. I don't think I'll be able to start doing business trips without my beloved MacBook Air, though.
Do you have any “digital detox” tips for vacation or otherwise? Maybe some of these tips would help maintain discipline about not using devices inappropriately in meetings?
Free Webinar Tomorrow
Tomorrow, my Healthcare Kaizen author Joe Swartz and I are giving a free webinar on Kaizen coaching, it's titled “How To Be an Influential Kaizen Coach.” I hope you'll join us. Joe always has great lessons and stories to share, so here's a chance to hear about some of their lessons from the Franciscan St. Francis health system, where they have implemented and documented more than 25,000 staff-driven improvements.
We hope you can join us!
Update: Click here to view the recording
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