The best “app”? The Off Button!

Posted By on March 19, 2013

I love smartphones and tablet computers and how much they can help make our lives easier. I’m a sucker for a fab app.

But there comes a time when the best app to use is the Off button. Okay, so technically, the Off button isn’t an app, but it’s a good thing to use every now and again.

There is a time to surf the web. There is also a time to turn things off.
When people use the term “digital vacation,” you know the need to unplug is become more and more important.

We live in a crazy, over-connected, and multi-tasking world, and we need boundaries to survive the madness.

During talks I give about productivity, I talk about how to take a vacation. Yes, yes, it seems I have to tell people how to take a vacation.

When you’re on vacation, you don’t do work email, you don’t go into the office and say “I’m not really here,” and you don’t call in. If you do that and you’re a manager, you are sending the message that you don’t trust your team and you’re a micromanager – even if that’s not your intention. The office should be able to function without you for a week or two. If it can’t, something is wrong.

There are times when I get pushback about checking work email while on vacation. I call them the “Yeah, buts.” Yeah, but I’ll have a bunch of email in my inbox when I get back. Emails should never be used for emergencies as a general rule, and you need your vacation to recover from the craziness we experience on a daily basis.

So when you need to, use the Off button and disconnect. You won’t regret it.



2 Responses to “The best “app”? The Off Button!”

  1. The first time I took a vacation after starting my business, I made sure my clients knew I wouldn’t be available, lined up another VA to handle any emergencies that arose, provided her with whatever information she might need if that happened (including a way to reach me), and set an out of office message on my email and voicemail. I was away 10 days and she didn’t get one phone call or one email from any of my clients. In most cases, we’re not nearly as essential as we think we are!

    I’m looking forward to doing it again this summer.

  2. Ellen Delap says:

    We all need down time! Off is also best at dinner or out at a restaurant. Thanks for sharing!