Seattle-based Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao suggests that business leaders addicted to technology consider a digital detox — even if just for a few hours or days. This is a way to get present to priorities that matter and actually get more accomplished in less time, among other valuable benefits.
August 7, 2014 /MM-prReach/ —
SEATTLE, August 7, 2014/ – Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao – author of Get Present: Simple Strategies to Get Out of Your Head and Lead More Powerfully – is on a mission to start a digital detox revolution – even for just a few hours or days.
“Constant connection to our devices is a fast path to costly detours in productivity and well-being. And it has serious consequences for the most important relationships in our lives,” Harvey Yao says. She maintains that being present in the moment is the single biggest contributor to achieving breakthrough results in the boardroom and beyond.
“We are creating a society that has continuous partial attention and has a very hard time focusing, connecting and staying present in the moment. Our minds are constantly thinking about the past or the future, and it’s exacerbated by technology use.”
In a society that deeply values productivity, we often find ourselves with less of what we really long for – time, clarity, strength and wellbeing. Our attempts at improving productivity by adding more to our calendars, expanding our to-do lists and constantly being plugged in to technology are backfiring. Instead of getting more done, we find ourselves unable to focus, feel more disconnected and stressed than ever.
Harvey Yao offers four ways unplugging from technology can pay off.
Initial Anxiety Followed by Calm
No matter if you’re simply slowing down for a few hours or unplugging for a two-week vacation, it is common to feel some anxiety. This is an important part of the process, and it will pass in time as the brain shifts its neuro-pathways back to its pre-technology settings.
Science has proven that the senses are dulled by technology. The act of unplugging from technology causes the senses to return to their natural state. Everything seen, heard, and tasted is more vivid and clear.
Decisions made from presence are always more precise than those made in the chaos of multi-tasking. That clarity can propel you to take productive action in the direction of desired results.
Connecting to yourself and those you love is a far superior connection than anything technology can offer.
Harvey Yao encourages everyone to take a technology break challenge for 20 minutes, one day, or even a full week.
1. Try one byte at a time: Don’t go cold turkey with unplugging. Instead, try small breaks. When you’re in a waiting room, anticipating a friend’s arrival at a restaurant or standing in line, use those moments to breathe deeper, notice what’s happening around you, or observe your anxiety of NOT checking your phone.
2. Set up tech boundaries: Set reasonable boundaries where you (or your whole family) agree on putting technology aside. For example, make dinner time a “no-device zone” or starting at 9 p.m., put your phone in another room and allow yourself to unwind and prepare for sleep. Better yet, make your bedroom a tech-free zone.
3. Try a digital detox: A digital detox is when you unplug from your technology for a longer period of time. It can range from one hour to two weeks. Start with smaller chunks of time, let your friends and family know that you’ll be offline for a bit, and put your technology in a drawer or leave the house without it. Withdrawal symptoms and anxiety may creep in, but they will pass sooner than you think.
“My advice is to put your phone down, lift your head up and become present,” Harvey Yao says. “It can transform your leadership, career, the quality of your relationships, and your life.”
About Seattle-Based Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao
Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao guides leaders to strengthen their executive presence, improve their impact, and enhance their lives. The author of Get Present: Simple Strategies to Get Out of Your Head and Lead More Powerfully, she is also the founder of Yao Consulting. Harvey Yao has coached more than 3,500 leaders in six countries including executives from Microsoft, REI and Brooks Sports. She welcomes invitations to speak about the power of presence for the media and from stages at conferences and workshops around the world. Learn more at http://www.yaoconsulting.com.
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