How to avoid a digital burnout!

Connectivity is like a magic word and we are all used to our phones that the imagination of a lost alone create a tremendous struggle….

I´m a real fan of the digital world and connectivity. The opportunities of the new digital age is an irresistible evolution for me, my daily life and future business goals.

IMG_0362But new studies show being constantly online, always reachable for our coworkers, our boss, family and friends is a threat for our peace of mind. Most of us are more than three hours busy  with our mobile device, 55 times a day we take it. We are constantly distracted, unfocused and disturbed. In former times it was extremely rude to have a phone on the table in a business conference – today it´s pretty normal to check mails during conferences and to answer important questions directly. Sometime not for good because we don´t even think about an appropriate answer. Most of us are used to response immediately with all our unfiltered emotions….

I had many discussions with my personal coach how to avoid digital terror in the late evening or during nights. As a mother you are always concerned and you want to know that your child arrived safely at home. So I´m used to have my phone always with me – it´s a part of a caring parents generation – maybe too caring sometimes…

But this is not enough! Last year I had tough times and I also checked my mail account in the middle of the night and answered regularly business mails because “American people work 24/7”. It took me some time to understand that this behavior is absolutely stupid and we have to avoid this kind of negative pressure to stay healthy and without mental problems.

The constant stream through Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Co. endanger our salvation. Researchers from Harvard have proved: Likes stimulate our brains like food or sex. No wonder then, that many people have difficulty controlling in surfing the net. The psychologist and author Jens Corssen says: “The mobile phone happiness destroys our happiness.” Diagnosis: Digital Burnout!

digitaler-burnput_800

“It’s like an addiction!”
Throughout the day the smartphone in hand – is this still healthy? No, says Alexander Markowetz, author of the book “Digital Burnout”. In the interview he advocates new rules that prevent us being sick through the digital world.

Alexander Markowetz – Digitalter Burnout

FAZ – Interview – Markowetz

 

But what can we do not to be so determined through the fascinating digital world and the permanent connectivity?

First we need to admit that we have a digital problem – from knowledge we can develop awareness and can make some changes.

Develop a connectivity management for yourself. Be true to yourself and be observant to your daily habits and patterns. For what reasons do you really need your phone? Business matters, connectivity with friends, lovers and family? What are the advantages in that moment? What are the real patterns behind this behavior?

Here are some examples I discovered in my family, with friends and business partners:

WhatsApp:

  • “Oh, did you have some sleeping problems last night? I saw you were online at 3 am. I´m sorry!”
  • “I sent you a message three days ago in our working group but you did not reply….”
  • “You are looking great on your new profile picture and what is the meaning of ….”

One of the worst things are the groups which are creating a constantly feeling of “you have to answer” although somebody posted a silly video for a special topic….

Mails:

Most business people are getting more than hundred of mails a day and in a busy day you are not able to response within an hour or so. But the sender has the expectation that you have to answer within very short time – is this really necessary? Do we need a new mail etiquette? Is it appropriate that we have to fulfill all these expectations?

Breaks:

2,w=993,c=0.bildWe are sitting in the park with the intention of enjoying the sun but in reality we are only looking to our mobile phone.

We are waiting for our appointment in a restaurant and to fill the time we are checking our mails,  writing some notes or watching the latest news on BBC or other channels!

But what can we do to break these patterns in some ways?

Here are some short tips:

  • Try to be present! “Isiness” is your business.
  • Enjoy the nature for 30 minutes – leave your phone in your bag or pocket.
  • Tell your friends that you like to talk not only to write…. This could be a great improvement!
  • Discuss with your business team what kind of informations you really want to share by mail? Informations like “Who was the guy who …!” you don´t want to have on your business mail?
  • Make some decisions about your cc-policy and give notice about your wishes regarding this topic.
  • Adjust your information tone! Do you need a direct information from WhatsApp etc.?
  • Make use of your silent function in the evening!
  • Rethink about some behaviors from former times!
  • Have fun in trying not to be always online and connected – this can be a great experience in being more present!