This topic is one near and dear to my heart.
In all honesty, I think it’s essential for your very sanity.
Do I have your attention yet?
Today, I’m going to break down 4 simple strategies for technology breaks.
Technology breaks are essential for staying on task, helping you reach your leadership potential, and focusing on what’s important. My favorite strategies include:
- Planned Time
- Project Time
- Kill Your Notifications
- Create Buffer Tech-Free Zones
If you want to maximize your time, check out the rest of the post for details on these strategies.
Take a break from technology, my friend, and watch yourself be more enlightened.
The Technology Myth
Wait a minute, Kenny, somebody’s going to come down from the mountain top and scoop me up if I don’t stay in tune with technology.
Technology has evolved into this gift and curse.
It’s a “necessary evil.”
It’s designed to support and maximize and enhance our lives completely.
Yet it also exists as a challenge and a massive addiction point.
We have new dysfunctions that have come from it.
OCD is showing up on a whole new level we’ve never seen before.
People that never displayed any of these types of things are now neck-deep in problems.
Habits, Habits, Habits
Tony Robbins says repetition is the mother of all skill.
When we start realizing how much we repeat certain things, they settle in as habits.
It’s the 2nd dimension in my book, The 6 Dimensions of Change.
It’s all about creating habits and then controlling habits.
Being intentional with habits is critical.
We must understand the difference between good and bad habits and where one evolves into the other.
If I’m constantly checking my phone, are you building a good or bad habit here?
I love my free time.
I love my ability to embrace technology.
It’s cool how I can travel and work on my business, write these blogs, record podcasts, and so much more all while traveling.
I’m grateful for this ability.
I’m spending a month in upstate New York, near Christy’s father, with the opportunity to travel and do what I do on a virtual basis.
Now that being said…
If I can do it from anywhere, guess what the problem is?
I can do it from anywhere.
The problem for you is you are always accessible.
The challenge and the gift are you’ve got more information to run your business than you’ve ever had in your life.
If you’re not careful, you can get run down easily.
You get emails anytime and anywhere.
There’s no 30-minute commute to decompress and let your driven mind relax.
It’s a slippery slope, my friend.
The next thing you know, you’re thinking:
Oh man, I forgot to send that one email.
I forgot to finish that one task.
I can bring it home.
You know what? I can do it on Saturday.
I’ll work on it during Jimmy’s soccer game or Sarah’s cheerleading practice.
Oh man, this is dangerous, friends.
The next thing you know, you’re doing it from anywhere, and you’re doing it all the time from everywhere.
That, my friend, becomes a problem in leadership.
We need to take a break from this technology to harness our driven mind.
It’s all about protecting our minds.
Do You Hear Me Yet?
If you’re ready to master your driven mind and help yourself reach your best potential, let’s connect.
Check out the podcast and join our Leadership In A Nutshell private community Facebook group.
Now let’s jump into a few ways that I’m going to encourage you to take technology breaks to help be the best leader possible.
I don’t have this mastered.
I’m not here to tell you that,
Oh, Kenny’s got this all figured out.
Not even close, my friend.
However, what I have mastered is intentionality.
What I have mastered is my desire not to allow technology to run my life.
It’s a tool, no different than the furnace.
I don’t leave the furnace on year-round.
As a matter of fact, in Arizona right now, it’s 110° F.
I don’t leave the furnace on in the middle of summer. That’s crazy!
I cut it off.
Sometimes I use it when I need it.
When I don’t need it, I turn it off.
I don’t run the AC year-round either.
Why do I use other technology nonstop?
Why do we use other technology nonstop?
We act like it’s going out of style because the odds are stacked against us.
Never Tell Me The Odds
The people that run social media or anything built on views and attention are masters of the scrolling technique and feature.
It keeps you engaged like no other.
There’s this fear of missing out that continues to drive you.
You want to see:
Oh, did that get a Like?
Did I get a comment?
Did I get something?
They addict you to technology and feedback.
The next thing you know, you’re addicted.
It’s a real thing, and it hurts us in business.
Click to check out how technology addiction affects the brain.
This is the curse and blessing of technology we must learn to master.
Step number 1: Technology breaks.
This being said, how do we take a better break from technology?
4 Simple Strategies For Technology Breaks
#1 Planned Time For Technology
I want you to focus on this planned time.
It’s a fallacy to wake up and just plan on using less technology.
No, you have got to schedule this no different than you schedule something else.
Do you check your phone at church?
Some of you don’t answer that because you know you’re turning off to the side of your pew and looking.
Think about there are certain places you would never think about you getting on your phone.
But some of you do, even if you won’t admit it.
- Public restrooms
- In meetings
- At meals
Stop the insanity.
My friend, create a plan for taking time away and make a plan for when you’ll access your technology.
I’m all for how powerful a tool phones and even social media are.
That’s not what I’m saying.
What I’m saying is you need to use it intentionally.
Block time for mindlessly surfing Facebook.
Block time for using social media to benefit your business.
There’s a difference there, huh?
Block time to put technology away!
Don’t Try To Justify It
Now I like to have my music when I exercise.
Don’t use that as an excuse to flip through the other things.
Create some space.
Don’t take it on a walk with you.
Don’t have technology engaging when you’re eating.
If you eat with your family as we do, get those devices out of there.
The lovely Christy and I create space to have a meal and engage with each other instead of these devices.
Maybe you have a meditation app.
Maybe you have something that you’re utilizing, but make sure that you do not allow these other things to sneak in.
Most people sleep with their phones right by their bed.
And as soon as they wake up (Boom!), they’re on it.
Stop that craziness, my friend, and plan time for you to have a break from technology.
#2 Project Time
The second thing is project time.
Now I’m not talking about projecting time.
I’m talking about when you are working on projects.
I’m going to talk about how different social media is or your phone versus your computer.
When I’m saying take technology breaks, there are different levels of this.
I’d love to say:
“Hey, take 24 hours. Don’t get on your phone.
Don’t get on the computer.
Do nothing electronically.
Don’t turn on the TV.”
Most of you just simply aren’t ready for that.
I know I take real free days to take 24 hours of no business conversation, no business reading, no Facebook, and no social media.
However, I still jump on my phone and text somebody personally.
I’ll still jump on my phone and plug in an address.
If the lovely Christy and I are going to find a new coffee shop or go somewhere for lunch, we need to know how to get there.
So I’m not going totally technology-free, but I’m using it as a tool.
One of the effective things is if you’re in project mode.
Write what you need to write, work on a project at work, do an email batch, or any number of other worthwhile tasks.
This is project mode. This is project time.
Turn off those notifications (more on this in a minute).
Set your phone on airplane mode.
Get it away from you.
Project time is technology-for-work time.
Make sure you are mindful of this when you’re working on a project.
You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.
My friend, when you say,
Hey, I’m not going to squirrel over and look at my phone.
I’m not going to go back and forth between all my tabs (except what you’re working on).
You’ll be a more effective worker and leader.
Everything is designed to get your attention.
And that’s why we’ve got to create this project time.
#3 Kill Your Notifications
This may sound morbid, but it’s critical.
Let’s be notification killers.
You’ve got to kill your notifications.
Notifications are your productivity killers.
They’re hand in hand with distraction and ineffectiveness.
We’re always thinking:
I’m getting updates on certain things.
People are reaching out to me!
As I’m writing this today, I got a notification from the weather channel.
I took about 5 minutes to check out the notification and follow up with it, and it wasn’t even necessary.
I even knew it would be a waste of time!
Still, I fell for it.
Oh, you might be having these crazy storms.
We’re not having any storms, but it was a sensational technique to get my attention and suck me into their app.
And guess what? It damn worked.
It worked today and got me sucked into it.
Every single one of these platforms has these things built in to get you in there.
Now for me, I went away in a few minutes.
For others and with other apps, it’ll probably be a lot more time.
Don’t Fall For It!
Now, this is a light example and one where you may get some use from it, especially when traveling.
But even useful apps can suck your time.
The less useful ones, well, they’re even better at distracting you.
However, you’ve got news outlets open.
Some of you are addicted to notifications.
You’ve got a thing popping up for everything imaginable:
- Trump tweeted
- This celebrity said something
- CNN posted a news story
- Fox reported this
- Facebook says a friend posted
- My software needs an update
- This game reminds me to play every 2 hours
It’s too much.
Even if you use these notifications for business, it’s better not to have it come directly to you.
As a leader, you need to be the master of your time.
If this happens and you’re in a type of a service business, manufacturing, sales, or different things where you need to keep track throughout the day, have someone else do it.
Schedule time to check.
Some of you get notified when a sale is made.
But when you hit a certain time level for the day, stop the craziness.
If you can’t utilize it to change the game at the moment, set it into a digestible report and have it sent to you.
You do not need to be getting notified of every single thing.
You’re Getting Stressed, And You Don’t Realize It!
Every moment of distraction kills your leadership, creativity, and productivity.
It makes you stress out.
You’re on an emotional roller coaster.
It’s like watching and the stock market throughout the day.
If it’s up, you’re excited.
Oh, it’s down. It sucks.
Oh, it’s back up. I’m going to be a zillionaire.
Oh, it’s down. I’m going to die in poverty.
I’m exhausted thinking about it.
Stop the notifications.
Set yourself free.
#4 Create Buffer Tech-Free Zones
This is the last thing I want to leave you with here today.
This, my friend, is no different than planning time or using your project time.
But it’s taking a crack at it from another point of view.
Create a buffer between you and technology.
Having those notifications shutdown and create technology-free zones.
Make areas where you do not get on your phone.
If it’s summertime and you’re out by the pool, don’t utilize your phone by the pool.
If it’s a fire pit and after dinner you hang out with the family and have a fire, make it a tech-free zone.
Do you do this?
You can’t have your phone.
Your kids can’t have theirs either.
Another great one is the dinner table.
What do you have that’s so important you don’t need to connect with those you love.
Find The Zones
The lovely Christy and I do a ton of hiking.
That’s a tech-free zone.
We have what we call our Zen room in our home, where we do some project work and meditate.
We work out in there, do yoga, and other self-care.
Technology isn’t there.
I do not allow myself to bring any technology in there.
It’s a technology-free space because you need to free up your energy to stay connected and stay grounded.
Stop the madness.
Stop the gossip.
Set yourself free and put technology in its place.
The Greatest Trap
Last, but certainly not least, the bedroom is a technology-free zone.
Don’t sleep with your phone next to you.
There are a zillion and five studies about how it’s not good for you.
Don’t use your devices right before you go to bed.
Consider journaling instead (check out these tips for effective journaling).
I’m not here to beat that drum for you.
What I’m here to do is share it with you.
If you’re a driven-minded human being, it’s super easy to wake up in the middle of the night and go:
Oh, let me write that down.
Let me put that into my project tracking software.
Let me type that into my to-do list.
Then what happens?
You see an email (maybe somebody in a different time zone had something come in).
There was a notification on Facebook or one of your social media.
The next thing you know, you’re engaged; they’ve sucked you in.
Keep your technology out of the bedroom.
The benefits of the simple strategies for technology breaks are clear, but you must start with intentionality.
You need to be intentional about when, where, what level, how often, and how long to use technology.
Technology is your friend, but you, my friend, have got to control it.
One of you is in control.
Make sure it’s not the technology.
Until next time, make it a better-than-fantastic week.
Speaking of strategies, check out these 3 powerful strategies for implementing ideas, not plans.
About Kenny Chapman
Kenny Chapman’s mission is to help driven leaders build their ideal lives and careers (even if they don’t know what that looks like yet). He is an award-winning authority on helping people discover their true potential and make the simple, though not always easy, necessary changes.
Kenny is a professionally trained speaker, consultant, columnist, author of The Six Dimensions of Change 2.0 and In-Home Sales Acceleration, and host of the Leadership in a Nutshell podcast. He is an entrepreneur at heart, building multiple successful companies, most recently the Blue Collar Success Group. His teachings have inspired individuals worldwide to reshape their lives and organizations, creating sustainable change, happiness, and personal fulfillment.