Workplace Culture | Unplugged: Creating Time to Think

Workplace Culture | Unplugged: Creating Time to Think

In today’s “always on” work culture, it is not uncommon to be in a virtual meeting, viewing a presentation, and checking your phone simultaneously.

Your time is precious. Research shows it takes almost 23 minutes to get back on track after being interrupted.

Getting space to think without phone and computer alerts interrupting you can be challenging. In response to this tech invasion, some are joining the “unplugged” trend and disconnecting from gadgets.

Here are a few digital detox strategies to get started.

Start Small

While Tiffany Shlain, author of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, employs a tech-free day a week, you may want to start with a more manageable goal. Try scheduling screen-free time for short spurts (15 – 30 minutes) and work your way up.

Update your Calendar

Blocking time to unplug will help you to follow through. Pick a day of the week when it is less likely you will be disturbed. Notify colleagues when you will be offline.

Hide Technology

Power off your phone and laptop. Tuck away electronics in a drawer or another room when they are not in use to avoid being sidetracked. Grab your notebook or use a whiteboard instead.

Schedule In-Person Meetings

Your thinking time may include an in-person tech-free brainstorming session with colleagues. You may notice that your relationships improve sans technology. You can better observe body language and tone in this setting which may be missed in an email or text.

Friday, March 3, is the National Day of Unplugging. This tech-free 24-hour period is devoted to doing anything other than using your devices. Think of this day as an experiment for you. See if a device detox invites new ideas around your work. Try looking at your projects from a 30,000-foot view. What new discoveries can you make?

Originally featured in UBA’s February 2023 HR Elements Newsletter.

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