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The last weekend of summer is upon us. If you are anything like me, 2 questions are floating through your mind right now:
My answer to the latter question: I took a “theoretical” vacation where I worked more than half of my vacation time while in another location. Rather than recharging, I caught up and now I am left to think “why did I do that?”
What to do?Thankfully, I stumbled across a recent WSJ article about taking a tech timeout by using existing functionality to limit your use. This article doesn’t demand the usual “working during vacation is bad because…” scenario. What I found most compelling is the reminder that my devices have built-in features and functions that can help remind me that I am working, when I shouldn’t be. So, I gave these tips a whirl one night, and I was pleased with my results.
Tip #1: Set Up Timers or Parental Control AppsI turned to my parental-control app, and allowed myself 1 hour to do whatever it was I needed to do, but I only had 1 hour. The result: Seeing a countdown in the top right corner of my screen pressured me to only focus on what was really important. Too many times, I turn on my computer to answer just 1 email, or work on 1 slide of a powerpoint deck, and 3-hours later, I really didn’t do anything (or so it feels).
Tip #2: Disable Notifications and Hide Tempting Apps
I turned off my work email notification, and the “fear of missing out” entirely left me. It was an AWESOME feeling! I was able to focus on what I needed/wanted to do for that 1 hour – which was still clicking down the seconds.
Tip #3: Bring Back Paperbacks and Clock Radios
I wasn’t able to really engage with this tip since I my focus was to limit my time online during the week. I will take this into account when I head out on another vacation by inactivating my work email from my Kindle, iPad and iPhone. (Why do I need to email on so many devices?)
My learning lesson: Setting up parental controls definitely helped me better prioritize my work queue during off hours. Also, I now have more of an appreciation for what those Jeopardy contestants are going through with the ever-present, countdown timer showing each passing minute.
For anyone else out there, do you have any tips to share with the group?
The most important thing to remember while parenting is to make sure to give full attention to the family while with them. When out on a vacation or even an weekend, make sure the phone is away so as to have least amount to no distractions at all.