5 steps to celebrating the independence of Fourth of July

Powering off your deviceIt is the Fourth of July and I plan on celebrating it by turning off all my access to the corporate world and recharge myself in preparation for the working week ahead. However, today’s BYOD world does not make this easy. Unless I consciously turn it off, my Fourth of July is likely to be interrupted with some work-related e-mail or the other. Even a slight distraction to glance at an e-mail here and a tweet there counts. So, if you want to celebrate your independence from work on the Fourth of July, please join me in taking the 5 key steps to turn off all work-related distractions and actually enjoy the independence!

Have you really turned off all your mobile devices?

In this article, A Harvard economist’s surprisingly simple productivity secret, Chip Cutter discusses Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan’s research on the most frequent complaint in the working world: not enough time. Mullainathan says that the ultimate barrier to success is a shortage of mental “bandwidth,” or the ability to focus on a task in the moment. Mullainathan’s research focuses on scarcity and how humans respond when they have a shortage of something — be it money, food or time. If you are thirsty and want water, it is hard to think about anything else. Likewise, in the working world, distraction is the main reason. It is not about a lack of time. It is about the lack of focus. So, what is the key step to maintaining focus? How about powering off your BYOD?

Mobile workers — especially those who work out of their home office and use their own BYOD devices at work – might find it a tad more challenging to treat Fourth of July the same way as other workers who commute to a workplace. So, what can they do to really focus on celebrating Fourth of July without being distracted?

Here are my top 5 suggestions for celebrating your independence from work on the Fourth of July in today’s BYOD world:

  1. Do not turn on any of the devices you use at work
  2. Do not answer work-related phone calls
  3. Do not text or reply to work-related text messages
  4. Do not engage in work-related social media (SoMe) conversations (including the <140 character ones)
  5. Do not even step foot into your home office

Can you do that? BYOD has resulted in all access to everything — work or personal — all the time. Can you really celebrate Fourth of July by following my suggestions above? Challenge yourself. Let me know through your comments on the 5th of July.

Oh, by the way:

  • Please do not comment on this post on 4th of July

Even if you do, I won’t be responding because I do intend to fully celebrate Fourth of July in the truest sense of the term. I am sure Mullainathan does too.

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Linked In article: A Harvard economist’s surprisingly simple productivity secret