If you're like most other attorneys, then we're guessing that your day goes something like this: wake up and check email, go to work and check email, stare at a computer all day, come home and check email, spend some time on Facebook/Instagram/Candy Crush Saga (or insert other mindless, addictive activity here). We probably spend more time looking at a screen than interacting with people.
On top of that you're probably pushing eighty-hours per week. Is it surprising that you feel burnt out? There are lots of new fads when it comes to wellness, from office yoga to juice cleanses. The newest one on the block? Digital Detox.
Yes, the best way to combat burnout is to cleanse yourself of technology -- just for a few days. We know, the thought of not checking your smart phone for the duration of a movie is already difficult enough, how on earth are you not going to check your phone for two days?
Here are four tips to help you combat burnout by giving yourself a digital detox.
1. Choose a Good Time
To have a successful digital detox you need to select the right time. And no, the answer is not "there's never a good time." There are weekends when you have to be on call because of pressing issues, and there are weekends when there is no urgent business. Make the most of the weekends you don't have to work and set aside a pre-determined amount of time for your digital detox. Two days is a good place to start.
2. Let People Know
You don't want to disappear without letting people first know what you are planning. Let your close friends and family know that you're unplugging so they don't call every hospital in the area to see if you've been admitted when they don't hear from you. Likewise, let your colleagues know that you won't have access to technology for a few days. Schedule an out-of-office reply on your email, and include the contact information of an associate who can be reached in the event of an emergency.
Ok, you've selected a good time and you've let people know you are unreachable. Now just unplug. You can do it. We're with you. Commit to unplugging. Don't check your email, voicemail, Facebook, etc.Don't even read your favorite FindLaw blog. No cheating! If you gave yourself two days to detox, stay away from technology for two days.
This is the fun part. Look at people in the eye and have a real conversation, go outside, frolic in a meadow. Do whatever you need to do to feel human again. You've earned it. Remember, all work and no play make Jack and Jane a dull boy and girl. If you want to be at your best, you need to take some "me" time once in a while.