How A Technology Detox Can Save You From Burnout

Forbes.com

Posted July 20, 2020 by Mark Perna

To find the perfect work-life blend, sometimes you need to reset. Mark’s article, “How A Technology Detox Can Save You From Burnout” published at Forbes.com on July 15, 2020.

Burned out at work? You’re not alone.

Zapier’s Digital Natives Report found that a majority of Gen-Z (69%) and Millennial (73%) employees have experienced job burnout. What’s more, 75% of Gen-Zers and 50% of Millennials have, voluntarily or involuntarily, left a job for mental health reasons.

Though younger workers are often stereotyped as being lazy and apathetic, the study reveals that they’re actually dedicated to their job—perhaps to a fault. Millennials, who now comprise the largest generation in the workplace, join Gen-Z as the most stressed-out generational cohort working today.

Technology overload

Today’s ever-expanding work tech—designed to increase employee connectivity and productivity in the age of remote work—is a key culprit in the stress and burnout epidemic. According to Zapier, roughly seven in 10 Gen-Z (71%) and Millennial (69%) employees admit they are constantly on or checking their work communication tools outside of work. Additionally, roughly one-third of Gen-Z employees (33%) and almost two in five Millennial employees (39%) say they check their work email/messaging tools more than they check their personal social media.

Moreover, both Gen-Zers and Millennials see these work behaviors as the norm—not just for themselves, but also for their other coworkers. Roughly two-thirds of Gen-Z employees (66%) and almost three in five Millennial employees (57%) say they expect their teammates to respond to them outside of work hours. Combine such constant connectedness with overwork and it’s not a pretty picture. What’s more, it’s not even helping us get more done.

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Time to detox

Joshua Becker, a pioneer in the minimalism movement, reveals 5 signs that you need a technology detox. Among them: you spend more time on digital devices, the internet and social platforms than intended, you feel guilt or dissatisfaction afterwards, and you are motivated by a fear of missing out.

Admit it, Gen-Zers and Millennials: You get it.

The good news? A technology detox, along with some other simple work-life changes, may be easier than you think. Four tips:

  • Be proactive. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Likewise, averting burnout is much easier than dealing with it, physically and mentally, after the fact. Ask your boss or coworkers for help before—not after—you’re stretched to the breaking point. Do your email in three 30-minute blocks rather than incessantly throughout the workday. And, even in today’s hyper-connected workplace, be intentional about your boundaries.
  • Focus on the big picture. Sure, a technology detox can help you reset. But making small, sustainable lifestyle changes over time is a smarter strategy in the long-term, especially when you’re talking about your mental health. Go dark digitally an hour before bedtime. (Simply silencing your smartphone doesn’t count. Set it out of reach, too.) Use social media blockers like Flipd or StayFocusd. And take a half-hour lunch—away from your desk and devices—every day.
  • Seek meaning. Cutting back on your connectivity is only part of the solution. Filling those newfound spaces with meaning is just as important. Pursue a passion project. Make your off-the-clock time with family and friends really matter. (No multitasking allowed.) And balance work with meditation, a mind-body exercise such as yoga, or any other spiritual or self-care practice that resonates with you.
  • Share your intentions. There’s no reason to go it alone. Let others in on your technology detox. Enlist a partner in crime. (Bonus points if you connect offline.) And as you aim to make more lasting work-life changes, ask the trusted truth-teller in your life to hold you accountable.
A technology detox isn’t a magic bullet. It is, however, a simple and doable step in the right direction. Click To Tweet

Ready? A technology detox isn’t a magic bullet. It is, however, a simple and doable step in the right direction. Better yet, it can lead to other work-life changes that will help you stave off stress and burnout—and safeguard your mental health.

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Read at Forbes.com


About The Author
Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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