1. The Workaholic’s Withdrawal
This simple option is perfect for professionals who believe the skies will come crashing down if it takes more than 15 minutes to respond to a client email. The Workaholic’s Withdrawal is a complete cleanse of all work-related communications.
If you use a separate phone for work communications, this is a very easy fix. Turn off your work phone and find a good hiding place where you can stow it for the duration of your time off. Better yet, leave your phone locked in your desk at your office, where it’s nearly impossible that you’ll be tempted to look for it.
If you use your own phone for work functions, suspend your work inbox from your email settings for a bit. Also remove any apps that send you push notifications about work tasks, such as calendar events, travel alerts or organization tools. We bet once you’ve gotten rid of your work account, checking your personal email will lose its appeal, because what really comes to that inbox besides oodles of unwanted daily deal coupons, anyway?
2. The Social Network Sweep
Image: Flickr, RelaxingMusic
If you’re a social media addict who lives with the perpetual question “Which Instagram filter would make this meal look best?,” or if you tweet more times per hour than you have fingers, we have the perfect detox for you.
Try deleting all of your social networking apps from your phone to experience the holidays in raw. If removing apps from your mobile won’t stop a chronic social media user like you, ask a trusted friend to change all of your passwords to keep you from logging in from your desktop, as well.
While at first you’ll struggle with the urge to share your little cousin’s latest antics with your 1,000 closest Facebook friends, after a few days of socializing in person, we think you’ll find the simplicity of person-to-person interactions refreshing.
3. The Internet Eraser
If you love sending Snapchats, reading the news and streaming TV shows, a tighter measure may be in order. You should try giving up the Internet completely, if you have a non-discriminating addiction to all things networked.
Rather than locking away your smartphone (allow for voice calling or text messaging), this package prescribes turning off your mobile data package and disabling your phone from connecting to Wi-Fi. If your desktop computer presents a distraction as well, set it to forget your home network so it won’t go online. If you live alone or convinced your family to get on board with the Internet Eraser plan, you can disconnect your home router, as well.
If the thought of life offline is making you queasy, just pretend it’s holiday season 1993.
4. The Login Liquefier
Image: Flickr, Uncle Catherine
The Login Liquefier requires the help of a partner, who can change the passwords on your social accounts, computer, smartphone and email accounts — as many as you see fit.
We’ll leave it to you to determine how many devices your trusted companion revokes, but keep in mind that changing your smartphone password will bar you from answering and returning calls. It may put some loved ones in a tizzy if they don’t hear from you Christmas morning.
We recommend changing your computer, email and Facebook passwords; this will still allow you to communicate via text and voice call. You may wish to take a note from the Social Network Sweep above, and remove some of the apps you find most irresistible, as well.
5. The Full Monty
Take all of the above steps: Lock all of your connected devices away where you won’t go looking for them; change as many passwords and delete as many apps as needed; disconnect your Wi-Fi home router; and, most importantly, don’t look back until you return to work.
This package will require willpower, dedication and stamina as you realize just how addicted to the Internet you really are — no Google Maps for driving directions (hopefully you remember where you chucked your paper map), no streaming Netflix new releases and no listening to Spotify while you do chores around the house. It will also help to inform your family and friends in advance that you’re going off the grid, to avoid those awkward “can you quickly Google…” requests.
The more impossible this sounds to you, the more rewarding you’ll find The Full Monty to be. Promise.
Image: iStock, ratch0013