Hi, I am John Drury. I help professional business leaders achieve what’s important without losing what’s essential.
One of the challenges we face today is that we’re always on. In June 2007, when the first iPhone was released, our world changed.
I love my smartphone. It makes me so much more efficient. It’s probably my most important business tool.
However, the challenge for us all is that, with that computer in our pocket, we’re leashed to our work 24/7, even on holidays. We never let down. We’re always on.
So what do we do? Even cars get serviced and they’re not used 24/7 and we don’t expect them to have a life that goes on forever and yet somehow, we expect that we can function well all the time without taking a break, without any kind of letting down or switching off. It’s not good.
The increase of income protection claims for psychological stress, anxiety, depression, issues related to mental and emotional health have skyrocketed in the last 10 years and this is one of the causes. We’re addicted to adrenaline. We love being on, we’ve come addicted to it. It’s very hard for us to let down.
So a couple of simple suggestions that might help, what I like to do is when I get home is put my phone with my keys and turn it off if possible, certainly turn it on to silent. And then one day a week I try to have a phone free day, a “tech detox day”. That’s Sunday for me.
And to do that, it feels a bit naked going out without the phone but I’ve survived. It’s okay.
And then what I encourage you to do is to negotiate with your employer, with your workplace email free holidays. Just let them know you’re not going to be checking your emails. Put an “out of office reply” and then even if you do check them, maybe once or twice, there’s no expectation that you have to get engaged with your work.
To take back control and the challenge then is to learn again how to switch off. So one of the ways you might do that every day is when you get a 15-minute break, instead of feeling for your phone and checking things and go through your apps, why don’t you put your phone down or put in your pocket and just go for a walk and clear your head instead. Get outside and learn simple techniques, simple ways. That’s where it starts where you can learn to switch off and not always be on. You’ll be glad you did.