The Need to Disconnect

Whether you work in the online world or run a small business, social media often becomes your pulse to what’s going on and helps you stay one step of competitors. We use social media to stay on top of trends and everything in the world of business, but it’s also easy to get side-tracked and sucked into information that isn’t directly related to work.

Regardless of your personal, political, and world views, most would agree that the current news can be overwhelming at times and has most of us constantly check news sources and social media for things that are non-work related. It’s important to stay informed, but it’s also essential to find balance.

Here are some tips for disconnecting while remaining productive:

Allow Yourself to Take a Break

Business owners and people who work in the online industry often struggle with allowing themselves a break. Since there’s a flexibility and opportunity to keep odd hours, many take advantage of getting work done on the weekends or into the late-night hours. While this kind of freedom is nice and often needed, it can also lead to fewer breaks.

Taking electronic breaks can keep you happier, healthier, and improve your relations in “real” life.

Start out Small

Do you check your Twitter account while eating breakfast or bring your smartphone to bed with you? Allow yourself a break; you deserve one. Start by designating a little time away from your phone, such as meals and sleep and then slowly go from there. Remember, that your notifications will still be there in the morning. If you are a business owner, encourage your employees and co-workers to take breaks from technology, too.

Designate Blocks of Time

Depending on how much you need to be connected, designate yourself a block of time for work or breaks. If you’ve been online for a good portion of your day, hopping back and forth through Google Analytics, MailChimp, Facebook, and Twitter, it’s probably time for a break.

Turn Off Notifications

Are you starting to feel like your notifications are eliciting a Pavlovian response? It may be a good sign to turn them off for a bit. The beauty about notifications is that you can control them whenever you want. If you’re feeling so bold, remove distracting apps from your phone. Only check certain sites from your desktop; you may think twice before logging in.

Notifications are important at times, but they can also keep us from being productive. How many times have you been in the middle of an e-mail only to be distracted by an incoming e-mail via notification?

Disconnecting Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t Productive

Disconnecting isn’t easy and sometimes the time isn’t right, but no one needs to be connected at all times of the day. Recognize your need for a break and allow yourself a little time before getting back to work.

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