The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
You bought that Italo Calvino book and still haven’t finished reading Nicollo Machiavelli’s The Prince and your new Bisaya Short Films subscriptions are still left unwatched. How can you consume them and enjoy each cold, bleak pleasure these products can afford you to feel when you soak so much of your spare time reading the Facebook posts of people you don’t know? Granted Facebook is useful because it helps you get track with what famous inspirational writers such as Elmore Leonard, Cormac McCarthy and Don DeLillo are doing now. But what’s better than these distractions? Learning how a life is lived without technology.
As Louis CK puts it, you’re mathematically more interesting and knowledgeable when you’re older. And being old comes the wisdom of how to swim against heartbreak, moor along depression and navigate the terrains of being alone without the help of a Facebook Wall Post or a list of tweets to read this week. Learn everything about how you can be tech-free with this infographic.
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The Pros of a Tech-free Vacation
In our tech-obsessed era of constant connectivity we rarely take a vacation from work. So when we do, what’s the best way to relax and recharge?
Are You Overworking?
People in the U.S. spend most of the year at work, but it’s important to get plenty of rest and recruperation, too.
Work days 250 days
Weekends 105 days
Public holiday 10 days
By putting away the tech, you can get yourself out of the working mindset and give your brain a rest. That’s why many health professionals are promoting tech-free vacations as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Why Should You Go Tech-free?
Research has shown tech-free vacations can have immediate and tangible benefits, including:
- Reducing unnecessary stress
- Improving concentration and creativity
- Increasing mental clarity and acuity
- Improving your health
- Promoting healthy and restful sleep
- Fostering a healthy work/life balance
Enjoy the Benefits of Taking a Tech-free Vacation
- Productive and successful
- Sleeps well
- Has good posture
- Enjoy leisure time
- Better overall attitude
Suffering the Results of Not Taking a Tech-free Vacation
- Poor concentration
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Has bad posture
- Suffers from eye irritation
- Less motivated
What Should Your Boss Do Next?
Employees are healthier, happier, and ultimately more productive if they’re properly rested. Here are some ways employers can ensure their staff get the most out of their time off:
- Introduce mandatory vacations for employees
- Don’t let employees have access to work email or internet when on vacation
- Weigh the benefit of company-wide closings. If workflow often slows around the holidays, consider closing for a week or two at the end of each year.
- Ensure employees’ work is covered by others while they’re away.
- Get HR involved in educating staff about the benefits of work/life balance so that they are more proactive about taking time off
- Consider paying employees to take tech-free vacations – some companies are already investing in their employees’ well-being this way
- Lead by example and encourage top executives to take tech-free vacations
What Should You Do Next?
So you’re going on vacation and you’re determined to go tech-free. These tips should make the transition easier:
- Get into good habits before you go away. Instead of going cold turkey, ease yourself into it. On your next trip to the store, try leaving your phone at home
- Let people know you’re going tech-free before you leave. Just let them know the duration of your trip and when they can expect you back so you can fully relax
- Leave your gadgets at home… but if you have to take your smartphone, disable Wi-Fi and data, and delete mail and messenger applications until you get home
- Pick a tech-free friendly destination. When planning your vacation, select a destination that leaves you no choice but to go without technology
Where Should You Go To Unwind?
Unplug the easy way – go somewhere you can’t connect. Why not try these tech-free friendly vacation spots?
St Vincent and the Grenadines
These islands in the Caribbean offer digital detox packages.
Red Mountain Spa, UT, USA
The Red Mountain Spa resort located in the high desert offers programs designed to manage stress.
Shambhala Ranch, CA, USA
Enjoy a digital detox relaxing in the shade of some of the largest redwood trees in the world.
A quarter of Scotland is without cellphone reception or Wi-Fi, and local tourism caters for ‘digital detox’ holidays.
Natura Cabanas, Domincian Republic
Guests as this resort are required to give up their cell phones and there’s no access to television or Wi-Fi.
Arawak Beach Inn, Anguilla
All electronic devices are turned over to the inn’s staff upon arrival. Televisions, phones, and internet access are removed from the guestrooms.
Do yourself a favor and listen to the health professionals. Taking a break from your digital devices can improve your health, happiness, and productivity.