How to switch off in the digital age?

Tuesday, 5th July 2022
Business man working outside

Our devices are able to provide us with almost unlimited information, analysis, entertainment and communication channels. Yet our work/life balance is suffering, and more people are experiencing burnout than ever before. Have we reached our limits? How can we break free from the chains of always being ‘switched on’?

While our use of technology is showing no signs of slowing down and digitisation of work environments continues, business owners need to ensure that their teams are utilising their technology to truly switch off. How do you and your teams ‘switch off’ digitally? Technical solutions such as airplane mode, do not disturb or social media detoxes are possibilities amongst many.

So, workaholics listen up! In this blog, we are going to discuss the importance of the ability to ‘switch off’ to remain productive and avoid burnout within your business.

Why is it important to switch off?

You might think that switching off is just a luxury for those who don’t need to be connected at all times. But in fact, it’s an important part of our work/life balance. In addition to giving your brain a rest from constant stimulation, regular breaks can help you stay motivated and focused throughout your workday. They also make you more productive by helping you get through tasks faster without straining yourself mentally. It is important to work hard, but more important to work smart. If you are a workaholic, you are putting yourself under a lot of pressure, which will affect your work quality.

So, what is the best way to switch off?

Working outside of the office, at home, in cafés on the road is really common now. This flexibility has great advantages, but it comes with drawbacks. It is now much easier for people to work through their breaks. So, what can be done?

Switch off from emails (at least until after lunch) and try something different. In the morning you can focus on your quick wins without the back and forth of emails and phone calls, that disrupt you from what you are doing, whilst adding additional tasks. Take some time to tick some things off your to-do list before you are fully switched on. This is just one example; however, we will be going into the idea of ‘switching off’ in greater detail throughout this.

Turn off notifications on your phone and computer.

‘Do Not Disturb’, we have all seen this option on our devices but how often do you utilise this feature and what is it?

To turn on DND gives you the ability to turn off notifications on your phone, computer or any other device. You can also turn off notifications for specific apps, for example on your work phone you may use WhatsApp to communicate, and we all know how many notifications you can get from that if you are in a few different group chats. Well, you even have the option to silence certain groups for set periods of time.

Make it difficult for yourself to constantly access social media, email, and apps.

At Enreach we know how important it is to be able to ‘switch off’ as work-life balance is important to us. For that reason, we have even included that within our solutions. With Enreach Contact you can turn on DND, so that you will temporarily receive no calls, and you can even use the presence mode so that you can view who in your team is currently available. This is important when it comes to forwarding calls.

Sometimes it is our ability to be always accessible, which can lead to burnout. There are ways of making yourself inaccessible when you are really busy, or simply need a break. For example you can:-

  • Turn off notifications on your phone.
  • Turn off your phone at night.
  • Turn off your phone when you are on holiday.
  • Turn off your phone when you are taking your breaks or at least set it to DND.
  • Set your home and work phones to DND, you are particularly busy at work, as if a call is that important, they will most likely email.

Have a technology-free day once a week.

It’s not something you would expect to hear from a business communications provider, but…having a technology-free day at least once a week, either in breaks, after work or on the weekends, can indeed be quite beneficial. You could set aside time every Sunday, for example, to go offline. This will give you space and time to focus on other things in your life and clear your head from the digital clutter that accumulates throughout the week, before you go back to work with a fresh head on Monday. Additionally, you could set aside one day out of your working week to limit use of emails, meetings and calls so you can get your head down and focus on other tasks.

Try not to check your phone or email during this time unless there’s an emergency or something urgent comes up that needs your attention. If possible, try not to even see them either; put them away somewhere out of sight so they won’t distract you when it’s time for work!

Remember that email can wait.

A big step to setting yourself up for ‘switch off’ success, is by recognising that not all emails are a priority. If you stop thinking of it as something that needs to be checked at all times, but instead as one of many things on your list, then it becomes easier to put it off until later and focus on other tasks.

Think about how much time you spend reading emails each day—what else could you be doing to use your time more effectively? It’s easy for us to fall into the trap of believing we can “just check this quickly” or “it won’t take long.” But these things have a tendency to add up over time and lead us down paths we didn’t intend when we first read an email. When it comes time for an important meeting or project presentation, knowing how much time has been spent reading emails will help give perspective on what should be done with that time instead (or if those things need delegating).

If someone absolutely needs your input right now (and they can tell you so), then yes, check it! Otherwise, set aside time blocks during which only urgent email matters will reach your inbox by using tools like Boomerang or Do Not Disturb

Find alternatives to help you unwind whilst you are not working.

When you aren’t working it is important you give yourself time to recuperate and relax, before starting to work again. It’s not easy for some of us but focus on the little things you can do to bring yourself relaxation to avoid burnout.

There’s no doubt that technology has been beneficial to our lives and work. But it’s also clear that we need to find ways of balancing the positives with the negatives. Whether you’ve decided that you have had enough with emails or you’re just looking for a way to switch off at night, we hope that some of our tips might have helped. For more information on how our products can help you to work smarter and not harder, you can give us a call on 0333 3603 723, or email us at

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