How to holiday: not always on

By Anthony Haynes

August 15, 2013

Category: Beyond publishing


The final post of a series of ten on the rules I set myself to create a successful holiday. The rules work for me: I hope they’re of some use to readers to. But they won’t suit everybody. You’re v. welcome to let me know how it’s different for you – and what your own rules might be.

Smart phones, tablets, phablets, laptops: it’s difficult not to be connected, which make sit difficult not to be always on.

I feel strongly about this. The main purpose of holidays, surely, is to get away from work – they provide the occasional extended sabbath. Answering emails or making work calls defeats the point.

I’ve dealt with the issue mainly by giving away my smart phone and replacing it with a distinctly non-smart one. That makes it impossible to encounter work messages unwittingly.

If I was back in a corporate job (*shudders*)  I’d certainly not take any form of online device with me. I would do what I used to do, which is privately leave a contact number with one colleague whose judgment and discretion I trusted. (She got the idea: she never once used it.)

Running my own business, I can’t quite bring myself to banish online devices altogether (what if the greatest opportunity in the world came through whilst we were away?), so I take my Chromebook. My final rule is: log-on once a day (only) at a pre-determined time and read messages but DON’T RESPOND.


2 Responses to “How to holiday: not always on”

  1. I have had “working vacations” where I had to stay connected and even work because of deadlines. I’m trying to be better about making actual space in my schedule for work-free time. (As a freelancer, that can be hard to achieve even for normal weekends.) One tried-and-true solution is to go on a camping trip, where wifi is usually not available and often neither is electricity!

    • Yes, the best antidote to always-on syndrome is to be where just can’t be on (online and so, in effect, on call): isn’t it a blessed relief when that happens?

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