Digital Detox: Disconnect to Reconnect

Studies show that more and more companies and entrepreneurs are becoming reliant on good technology to run their business effectively. There are certainly
advantages to having employees accessible 24/7, but at what cost?

Though technology has made it much easier to run a business more efficiently and make decisions in real time, the CEOs and companies that stood out in
2015 were the ones who took concrete steps to foster real time, face-to-face conversation and connection.

Padmasree Warrior, who served as Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco until May 2015, finds time to unplug from her smartphone and takes a full-day
digital silence each week. She says that about two years ago, she was working all the time – including Saturdays and Sundays – to the point that she
didn’t feel creative anymore. Now, she dedicates a full 24 hours every weekend for this digital detox, driven by a belief that feeding your soul is
essential to being more analytical and effective.

If you think being online 24/7 makes you more productive, try unplugging yourself for a day. You may actually find your day way more productive. In fact,
you will likely find that you’re able to get things done faster in analogue versus digital mode. According to a survey, 71% of business executives
work even on holidays, let alone weekends. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise given the way that the line between work and life is blurring. In
a bid to remain ahead of the competition, executives have essentially allowed work – facilitated by technology – to take over their life.

Unfortunately, what many executives and CEOs don’t realise is that if they want to think big picture, solve a challenging problem or come up with a new
idea, they need to learn how to switch off. Taking a real break from work allows your thoughts to wander, and studies has shown this to be one of the
most important requirements for staying sharp and inventive. Just ask Einstein!

Make a plan

If the very thought of a digital detox gives you a panic attack and you wonder what would happen if there were a work emergency or someone wanted to contact
you, take a breath and remind yourself that it can be done. Planning is the solution.

Before you go on a digital detox vacation, it is important to delegate the critical aspects of your job to others. Assign two staff to handle your calls
and check voicemails. Appoint someone to check your email two or three times a day. Finally, before you leave, call a staff meeting to discuss ongoing
projects and staff responsibilities, and have a 90-minute meeting to catch up once you’re back.

If you find yourself working all the time yet struggling to be efficient and creative, perhaps a digital detox is just what you need to disconnect from
distractions and connect with what really matters.

We run a half-day Digital Detox program every quarter and our next session is on 20 Feb 2016. For details to sign-up, visit

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