2017 started with a bang, despite most people saying they wanted a slow start after a hectic 2016.

Unfortunately for most of you, slowing down is not always up to you. There are so many distractions and opportunities that, without you being fully aware of them, derail you from the course you wanted to be on.

Technology is playing a big part in destroying your right to be in control today – consider the Internet, social media, smartphones, gadgets, emails, the list goes on.

Technology evolved to make your species a more developed species to be more productive, healthier, happier and better adapted, but it seems to have taken over the world. Scenes from the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey comes to mind.

Technology addiction is yet to be classified as a mental health condition (research aplenty though) and refers to compulsive and obsessive behaviours where tech is at play. Research is yet to confirm what causes this, but like other additions it seems to have its roots in a combination of environmental, biological and genetic factors.

And this was developed to help you?

Research globally says that emails dictate your stress levels in such a way that in places government (France) and industry (motor industry giants) have to apply regulatory rules.

How are emails really impacting your life? What creative ways can you come up with to own your life despite business and work pressures?

Neuroscience reminds us that social interaction is one of the most important keys to a ‘happy’ being. Time limitations have you connect with friends and family via Facebook. Unfortunately technology here is a very poor substitute for real connection and time together.

More people than ever are disconnecting from social media completely. So, what might happen to your relationships if you swap one hour of social media with real-life humans every day?

A client recently lost their phone and was off-line for three blissful days. What can you do to create the same without throwing it away?

What are the today’s trends around sustainable vegetable gardening and camping telling you? Research seems to indicate that it is reactive state of survival – managing through the chaos trying to look after the planet, eating real food again where tech had no say, and having a legitimate excuse to not be available.

Surely you don’t have to run away to the mountains with no connectivity to be you. Own your right and disconnect.


Challenge yourself to disconnect for a day, week or month.

  • Social media:  How about deleting the apps on your smartphone?
  • Smartphone:       What about usage rules (bedroom-free – including charging – or not after 8 pm)?
  • Emails: What about disabling phone-email with an out of office reply and email-free weekends?

With extra time – don’t scratch the proverbial tech-itch but do what you’ve missed (early morning surf or hike, reading that book or time with the kids)?

Most importantly, keep track of your new insights and what this freedom feels like.

Good luck for a tech-disconnect

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF-accredited executive and business coach