Yes, it's ironic that we would be urging you not to work on "Labor Day." But one of the perils of the business electronics era is that it makes working on your time off so darned convenient.
Resist the urge. Try, for your own sake and for your friends and family, to look up from your phone for the next few days.
To help you stop working when you should be at a barbeque, playing with your kids, and drinking whatever it is you like to drink, we've put together these 10 tips.
- Don't check your email. Seriously. Don't do it. Set up a vacation message and then forget about it.
- Take the battery out of your phone. Or at the very least set it to send work-related calls straight to voice mail.
- If you have separate business and personal e-mail accounts, see if you can shut off the business account for a time. The image on the right shows how easy it is in iOS: Go to Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and select the business mail account. Note that you can shut off other services, such as reminders, from that account, too. This is pretty easy to do in Android, too, but the specific steps might change from version to version.
- Get in touch ahead of time with the people who normally bombard you with questions or requests and make sure they know better than to bug you. The polite way to do this is to send an e-mail explaining that you'll be "off the grid" until Tuesday and won't be receiving any calls. That way you can ignore any calls you get anyway and pretend you didn't get them.
- Avoid the computer. Involve yourself with things that make having PC access inherently problematic, like going to the beach. As time goes by, even that might be harder, but for now there aren't a lot of beaches with Wi-Fi.
- Interact face-to-face with actual people. Yes, synchronous communications are inefficient, but they have their own peculiar charms.
- Turn on the Gmail gadget that requires you to solve a math problem to unlock and use Gmail. Then get drunk.
- Be out in the sun with polarized sunglasses so that you can't see the smartphone screen. (I did this last week. It works.)
- Go somewhere with no service (Harder and harder, I know.)
- Remind yourself not to panic about missing something. Nothing is that important.
Thanks to the ProPitmaster.com Blog and the BBQ Institute for images.