3 helpful tips to keep technology from ruining vacation
Our technology helps us deliver great client service and access information quickly. It can also be what stops us from escaping the grinding day to day of our professional lives while on vacation. If not properly disconnected, our technology can rob us of the escape that a vacation provides to think, invest in our relationships at home and grow as a person.
In this episode I share 3 tips to unplug from technology while on vacation:
- Put the phone away
- Coaching yourself on your own non-importance
- Setting aside time to check-in
Welcome to the Jason Clause Show. I’m Jason Clause, your host, and today we’re talking about vacation and smartphones.
Welcome, welcome, welcome everybody. My name’s Jason Clause. I’m your host and this is the Jason Clause Show. My experience is that the best business leaders and managers out there, they’re idea collectors. They’re always on the lookout for great ways to take technology and use it to help their team. They’re looking for good tactics and strategies to help their people perform better, learn better, get to where they need to be from where they are.
And that’s what this show’s about. It’s about finding those ideas and sharing those ideas with a growing community of Bay Area business leaders. Got a great episode for you today. It’s another short one and it’s timely, because vacation’s in the air and many of us are addicted to those smartphones and those phones can actually really create some real problems for us when we’re trying to spend time with our family or our loved ones or our traveling companions and so I thought I’d just talk about it a little bit. I found a couple of great articles and we’ll get into it right after this.
The Jason Clause Show is brought to you by Insight. I’m going to take a minute and a five star review that we recently got from Carolyn and I quote, “The Insight team is always prompt, courteous, and patient and always gets to the root of the problem. I never feel rushed or foolish and always have confidence that the problem will be solved.”
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All right. Welcome back. So like I said, we’re talking about vacation today and specifically how can we make sure that we put those phones, those smartphones, where they belong so that we can spend our time enjoying our restful hard earned vacation with our family or our travel companions, maybe even just time by ourselves?
The reason I thought that this was an idea worth sharing, there’s a ton of research out there talking about the way the brain works and how smartphones are … they’re just candy for that brain and there’s a lot of suggestions that way more of us are probably addicted to those phones, like actually addicted to those phones than we then we want to give credit to. And so I found a great article on CNN. I’m gonna include it in the show notes. I’d encourage you to read that full article.
This episode is not about addictive behavior as it relates to the phone, but I think it plays into making sure we get those things aside so we can enjoy our time there. The article has, among other things, a link to an assessment that you can take if you want to test and see where you rate on the scale of addiction relative to your phone. I took it and I was surprised by it, but like I said, I don’t want this to be about the science behind it, but in summary, here’s what I’m coming to understand our brains.
They’re fearfully and wonderfully made and wired to seek out novel things. The idea being that once upon a time, new things help these bodies survive. And if we were constantly on the lookout for new food sources or new mates or whatever it was, these wonderful computers that we have, these neurochemical computers have mechanisms built in place to motivate and habituate doing the activities that would help perpetuate the species.
Problem is that we’re not being chased around by lions and we don’t have to … We’re not hunter gatherers anymore and so we still have the circuitry, but we have all of these conveniences that our ancestors never had and the smartphones are one of them. And a smartphone is continually serving up novel things, and so we have a structural predisposition to spend more time with our phones than we really should.
And that’s why we’ve seen such an explosion in usage and why there’s so many just seemingly pointless apps out there. It’s because it really helps or impacts our own circuitry. And so I wanted to bring that up and like, there’s more that you can read on that if you want to. And maybe one day we’ll do an episode on that and I can interview somebody that is really an expert on it, but that’s kind of where our starting point is as it relates to getting that phone out of our hands so that we can enjoy our time with our family this vacation season.
I just got a couple of humble suggestions to share with you. This is going to be a really quick one. There’s also going to be linked to some articles that I read in preparation, but I think that, you know, number one, this is not the kind of thing that you can’t plan for, just like anything else where we know we’re going to be confronted with sort of the, the machine or previous habits.
It comes down to, you know, kinda putting a stake in the ground and saying, okay, this is what I’m trying to do. And then telling people what you’re trying to do. So first thing’s first. Make your travel companions … for me, it’s my family and I’m going to make sure my family knows my goal is to spend as little time with that phone as possible so that I can spend as much time with you as possible.
And I got two little girls so that’ll really easily morph into, “Daddy. Daddy.” They’ll let me know. I got to imagine those of you that have kids, your kids will let you know too. Also my beautiful bride. I know, she’ll let me know as well. And so that brings up a really good point. If I’m going to lay that out and I’m going to set that out as my goal, then I need to be okay when I’m being held accountable to that goal.
Number two. As I’m out and about, the phone probably for me shouldn’t be in my pocket. I’m going to need to put it in the backpack, turn it off, or put it on airplane mode. Now I am not a shutterbug in the same way that a lot of folks are. In fact growing up in the analog world or the film world or the Kodak world, I remember my mother very clearly sharing with the rest of the family that, “Look, I’m interested in spending this time with you and I don’t want to be behind a camera and trying to take photos of it, so we’re not going to have as many photos as maybe some of the other families and that’s just going to have to be okay.”
And Mama, I’d just like to thank you for that. That’s a great example. And so I’ve always tried to make sure that as it relates to taking photos, I’m present. And this is my attempt to try to take the other pieces of this forward too. But for those of us that do want to have the camera aspects of the phone, I just encourage you to put it on airplane mode.
That, for the most part, is just going to turn it into the camera that you need. There’s still apps that’ll work and so each of you will have to kind of figure that out on your own.
But you know, keeping the phone … like physically keeping the phone out of your hands while you’re spending time vacating. That’s a good first step. Next one is more mental, right? I just wrote down, “The world won’t end,” and most of the articles I read had some story of just kind of coming to grips with the fact that we all have a chorus of negative voices telling us that we’re going to lose our job or that all-important email’s going to come in or someone’s going to get mad at me if I don’t immediately respond and I’ve actually written an article that’s up on LinkedIn about the chorus and about, you know, kind of that inner voice, that inner negative voice. And I’ve got other tactics for dealing with that.
But as it relates to this, a lot of it is just … For me, it’s just having that humility to say, “You know, people can do without me for a week. Nothing bad’s gonna happen,” and I’ve actually put this in practice. I did this on spring break and everybody …the world just went on. Not that I wasn’t missed. I mean, I think people care about me, but they went on with their lives and they weren’t, really too concerned about how quickly I was responding, provided that when I got back, I responded.
One of the things you can … just make sure you put your autoresponder on and set people’s expectations and it should be okay. There’s that. Right? Keep it in your phone and then just having … because it can create anxiety and just kind of having that little talk with yourself can really help.
Setting aside some time during the day when you can check the phone as like a little reward. I thought that was a great idea that I thought should be shared. One of the things that I saw in one of the articles was be disciplined about this, you know, maybe set a timer. “I’m going to give myself 15 minutes of phone time while the kids are sleeping,” or something like that.
But really be disciplined and avoid that temptation to spend more time with the phone than you should. I want to kind of get back into the anxiety piece of this because it’s legitimate that people might feel anxious doing this and you know, maybe adopting breathing exercises or something like that.
I just want to share. I do a breathing exercise often, just because it’s helpful for me, where I just close my eyes and for five minutes I just breathe. And it’s amazing the impact that that has on me.
And then lastly, the last item that I’ll share is grace. Ask for grace from your family and friends and give grace, right? You don’t have to be perfect at this. The idea is to try to maximize the time that you’re spending with your family. All right. That’s it. That’s all I got.
I hope you have great vacations planned for your future. If you don’t, I hope you got a great staycation. I hope you take some time this summer to try to recharge your batteries. I’m looking forward to mine, like I said.
Next episode, probably it’s going to be something on cybersecurity. There’s a lot out there. Maybe we’ll do an interview. We’ll try to keep them short too, so there’s not a lot, not a lot of fluff. Until next time, I hope that my good friend Jesus blesses you with peace in your heart, wisdom in your spirit, and just a ton of laughter in your belly. You take care now.