Having a hard time unplugging?

06 Oct 2009, by michelle in Stress

Many times I over hear people saying they need to get away and unplug for a few days.  Now with the advancements of technology, a getaway does not necessarily mean you are unplugging.  It takes a conscious effort that many people have a hard time keeping their own promise to disconnect.

A recent study explains the reason why we have a hard time unplugging is because when emails and posts come in on social sites come in an emotional response similar to that to gambling.  We want to open up these sites or emails to see what we have possibly won so to speak.  There are even some alerts now to tell you when you receive a post or email, which reinforces that trigger.  Even though not all posts/emails are “feel good” ones, there is an addiction like gambling to see what the next one might offer you.

(Insert pic here of someone on their computer looking either super engaged or overwhelmed)

Tips and tricks:

1) Literally unplug your internet connection at work.  Allow yourself only specific times to re-plug into your connection in order that you don’t get distracted when alerts come your way.

2)  Record the time you spend throughout the day peeking or going back and forth to email.  Now pick a day in which you wait until the end of the day to respond and see how much less time is wasted.  Establish a system that allows you to be the most productive while still being attentive to communications coming your way.  Alert those who feel they need to urgently get to you that they can call you instead.  This will keep the vast majority of communications at bay until you are ready to proceed.

3) Check email at the end of the day.  At the end of the day, we are already on the decline of our productivity.  You want to use the beginning of your day to tackle projects that will take the most mental and emotional energy to get through.  Emails tend to be mostly mundane work that you can attend to even when you are beginning to fade.


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