The Most Challenging Detox of all …

At this time of year many of you will be focused on well-being and with steely determination you are detoxing your body after the Christmas excesses.  Some of you may even be reading this in the gym on your mobile phone and that’s rather interesting in itself…

Have a think.  Do you ever:

  • Check your phone as soon as you wake up?
  • Struggle to concentrate on what you are doing when you hear the ping of an incoming text, email or social media message?
  • Find that you aren’t really fully present in the company of other people and that you really want to cyber-connect instead?
  • Have a sneaky look at your email if you wake up in the night?
  • Send texts as you walk down the street in a sort of auto-pilot haze?
  • Get anxious because the latest picture your guinea pigs hasn’t got enough likes on Facebook?
  • Waste precious time reading about what your friends have had for breakfast even though you can’t actually remember who that ‘friend’ is?
  • Boast about all the famous people you are connected to on Twitter, even though none of these people actually follow you in return?
  • Obsess over the number of LinkedIn connections that you have but you rarely engage in a conversation with any one of them?
  • Watch the television in the evening with iPads and laptops fired up and within reaching distance?
  • Find it has got to lunch-time but you have been distracted by endless emails and that your to-list for the day has remained untouched?

Maybe you need a digital detox too?

It is worrying how many texts some people send per day, how much email is exchanged inside and outside of working hours, the number of seeminly essential gadgets children and young adults have at their disposal and the growing number of people who seem addicted to social media and smart phones.  The long-term impact of this is yet unknown but it is clear that technology is a continuous source of distraction for some and there’s no evidence at all that multi-tasking is an effective way to work.

All this is at a time when so many organisations offer flexible working options.  But does this make the situation worse for some people as they equate ‘flexible working’ to ‘I never switch off!’

OK, we aren’t going to go back to telegrams and letters but surely our use of communication technology needs thinking about.

It is hardly surprising that in recent years there has been an increasing interest in mindfulness!  How wonderful it would be to be fully present, to focus deeply on the things and people that matter and to simply get more done.

  • If you want to make the first step, here are some ideas.  By the way, these practices are common amongst the most successful people we know.  That can’t be an accident!
  • Switch your phone and emails off during holidays, weekends, meals and other social occasions – drop the push messaging in your phone settings at these times
  • Consider turning your email off for set periods during the working day.  Gradually lengthen these periods to a couple of hours
  • Don’t take your phone, tablet or laptop into the bedroom – it’s one place where you should be really resting and relaxing
  • Have a house rule of no phones at the dinner table!
  • Put your phone in flight mode during meetings – not just on silent!
  • Turn your phone off completely during leisure hours unless you need to be in touch for emergencies
  • Get radical with your email and don’t automatically respond to everything
  • Pick up the phone more to actually call people, instead of sending endless text messages
  • Explore using Sane Box and similar packages to reduce and manage your email
  • Unsubscribe from mailing lists unless you genuinely value the messages
  • Be sparing in your use of social media
  • And learn more about meditation and mindfulness

Come to one of our bite-sized mindfulness workshops and build up ways to keep sane in business and make the most intelligent use of technology.



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