It’s that time of year when people in offices across the country begin to look through windows and wonder what the outside world must look like during work hours. When that thought creeps into your mind, there’s only one thing you can do – it’s time for a vacation. A modern-day vacation is entirely different to the ones we grew up experiencing because of how pervasive technology has become. It’s difficult to take our minds off work when work is only a click away. Just think of how many notifications we get on our phones during the course of a single day. This is why it has become a growing trend to leave technology behind when taking a break and travelling to clear our minds and refresh ourselves – a 'digital detox' if you will. Experts claim that taking some time off from technology and the internet could result in tremendous psychological and physiological benefits. What better time to experiment with disconnecting from technology than during a vacation when you’re trying to get away from it all?

Recognise and Believe that You Need a Break

We spend so many years proving to ourselves and others at work that we’re hardworking employees that it can become difficult to accept that we need the occasional break from work to keep performing at the level we’ve come to expect of ourselves. Therefore, the first step in disconnecting from work is to recognise the fact that you’re in need of a break and, more importantly, that you deserve one for all the hard work that you’ve put in so far. But we know that those of you who’re married to their jobs might find that easier said than done, so here’s one important reason you should consider a vacation: taking time off makes you more productive. So, take that vacation and once you’re back, you can get back to slaying once again.

Lay the Grounds for Your Vanishing Act

So, you’ve applied for leave and your vacation dates are almost upon you and, now it’s time to set the stage for when you won’t be clocking in at the office. The easiest thing you can do is to make the distinction between which devices you’ll need on vacation and which you can afford to leave behind. Work laptop? Phone? Nope. Put those away and learn to love the silence that emerges when a dozen email notification pings go away. But leaving those emails unanswered isn’t the best move, especially if you’re dealing with demanding clients. To solve this problem, set up an automated reply for your work email account that lets people know where you are and stating your date of return, and maybe even redirecting them to someone else at the office. If it’s impossible for you to stay completely disconnected from work, set a certain time each day when you plan to call the office and check in.

Disconnect from Accounts You Don’t Need

If you want to stay only partially connected while on vacation, one option is to disconnect from the online accounts that won’t be of use to your immediate vacation needs. That means unlinking your work email account from your phone and making your personal email account the default. And while you’re at it, delete all the social media apps from your phone (Facebook, Twitter and, yes, even Instagram). You’ll be free of any unnecessary distractions that way. If this is something you just can’t do, make a promise to yourself (and then follow through) that you will only check in on social media for 15 minutes in a day. That should be more than enough time to stay abreast of any important news. However, if you really want to take this “digital detox” further, retire the SIM card you’re using for the time being and get a temporary connection via a prepaid card, or if you’re travelling outside the country, a new international prepaid SIM card. Then give this new number to a few people who can inform you of any urgent developments at home.

Commit to the Vacation

Even after you’re prepared in every possible way, there’s one Herculean obstacle ahead of you: yourself. Yes, your own commitment to work could be getting in the way of having yourself a relaxed holiday. Most of us have full-time office jobs which require us to put in a lot of time to stay on top of work. This constant demand on our time and minds becomes a routine occurrence and takes a toll on our ability to switch off from work. The only way to beat this is mindfulness – you must make the conscious effort to disconnect your work life from your personal life if you want to have a chance of succeeding at disconnecting entirely during a vacation. All we can say is that you won’t regret it if you do. Happy holidays!

Like this article? Also read: The Best Indian Summer Retreats In 2017