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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Zfat

How 11 Leading Technologists Detox from Technology

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Citrix. The opinions and text are all my own.

"Don't it always seem to go … that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"

In addition to being a Joni Mitchell fan, it turns out, I'm also a huge fan of Wi-Fi. And PCs. And using my phone past 7 p.m.

As a social media consultant for more than a decade (and as a new mom), I've been more tethered to my tech than ever this past year – from lovingly taking photos of my kid to creepily staring at his baby monitor to emailing myself a reminder (OK, eight reminders) to do that one thing that I can’t seem to get crossed off my list.

But I only realized just how precious technology is (was?) to me when last week, over the span of three nights, I was challenged by my friends at Citrix to put it all away at 7 p.m. to build digital boundaries and create more work/life separation. Sounds harmless, right?

About 40 minutes into night one, I panicked. A digital detox is harder than I thought.

In a recent poll I published on (where else?) Twitter, a couple hundred respondents weighed in to let me know I wasn’t alone.

  • 60% of respondents said they don’t have a dedicated time to unplug.

  • 75% of respondents said that at some point in the past year while working from home, they’ve experienced digital burnout.

  • 48% of respondents said their work is “hybrid” – aka they split their time between working from home and working in an office.

  • 83% said it’s very important to them that their employer considers their well-being.

Learning this, coupled with the fact that – while preferred by many – our new hybrid workforce is creating all kinds of new types of digital fatigue, I called in reinforcements.

After all, Quartz research says 81 percent of workers believe decreasing burnout should be a top priority for employers, suggesting your employees know burnout is a significant threat that demands your attention. Are you ready to act?

Here are tips from 11 technology influencers about how to detox from technology, working to take time back and focus on their well-being.

1. Bette Ann Fialkov, Director of Influencer Marketing, Lyft

In the morning before I start my day, I have at least one hour of no cell phone time. I walk my dog, exercise, or meditate. I find that this really helps me mentally prepare for the day before I dive into the craziness of work and emails.

2. Frank Azor, Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions and Marketing, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

I often use the Calm app to help disconnect from what are usually fast-paced, information-filled days that I’m still processing before going to bed at night. The music and bedtime stories in the app help me slow down and distract my mind from that post-processing.

3. Carolina Milanese, President and Principal Analyst, Creative Strategies

Anyone who knows me, knows how much my life revolves around tech. So it might not surprise you that my digital detox relies on tech. On holiday and weekends, my Apple Watch helps me keep an eye on things without getting sucked into work. I have email and social media set up for certain people – so when my wrist buzzes, I pay attention. Whatever you do, the key is to feel comfortable. There is no point in switching off a device if it increases your stress level.

4. Sherlen Archibald, Global Influencer Lead, Google Arts & Culture; Co-Founder, We The Roses

My #1 detox tip is to do puzzle board games. Finding a way to get lost in putting the pieces together always gets my brain creatively going.