8 Ways To Bring Sanity To Your Crazy, Wired Life

Here's how the busiest connectors--Mightybell founder Gina Bianchini, HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, Ivanka Trump, and more--give themselves a break.

1. RESPECT THE WEEKEND.

"I'm a natural introvert, as many entrepreneurs (and especially social software entrepreneurs) are. Keeping the weekends quiet is critical. I disconnect and read, watch a movie, or just remember that I am a person outside of my mission."
--Gina Bianchini, founder, Mightybell

2. EXERCISE EQUALS ENLIGHTENMENT.

"I take time out of each day to bike, do yoga, or rock climb. It's pretty impossible to check your iPhone in downward dog while scaling a rock face."
--Ryan Holmes, CEO, HootSuite

3. START A TECHNOLOGY SHABBAT.

"When my father passed away, my husband and I decided to do something with our kids: Unplug one day a week, Friday night to Saturday night. It's our tech Shabbat. This amazing thing happens: Time slows down. Every Saturday morning we get to do, like, six things: We'll be in our garden, we'll do an art project. . . . It's changed my life. My films are better. I'm more productive. I'm happier. I'm more balanced."
-- Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker; founder, Webby Awards

4. PLAN YOUR DIGITAL VACATION BREAKS.

"Set 'digital times' when on vacation--an hour in the morning or evening when you will be online. Better yet: Go someplace where you can't be connected."
-- Gerald Brady, managing director, Silicon Valley Bank

5. ASK YOUR COMPANY TO UNPLUG.

"We have a 'no email' rule every weekday after 7:30 p.m. and at all times over the weekend. Employees can spend more quality time in their personal lives without worrying about the office."
-- Dolf van den Brink, president and CEO, Heineken U.S.A.

6. DITCH THE PHONE DURING MEETINGS.

"I never take my iPhone into meetings. I give my undivided attention to my colleagues and partners, and I expect the same respect in return."
-- Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions, Trump Organization

7. SEE THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR PET'S EYES.

"I get up, turn off the laptop, and start playing with my cat. It's a chance to enjoy simple, mindless pleasures--like a stick with yarn attached to it. Cats make us a little dumber."
-- Alexis Ohanian, cofounder, Reddit

8. GET PERSONAL.

"Recently, I was walking down the hall at work, on a call via my headset and simultaneously writing an email, successfully balancing it all--until I went sailing in the air as I flew over an abandoned box. Now I try to get up and talk to the person two desks away rather than texting them. I welcome our team's new hires face-to-face rather than sending an email. I make meetings in person when it's an option. I am not always perfect, but I am more conscious about my behavior."
-- Catherine Courage, SVP of customer experience, Citrix

Illustrations by Max-o-matic

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3 Comments

  • Stevefaulkner

    Absolutely critical and like many I find this so difficult. It's good to here other people's techniques for inspiration.

  • Patty

    Right on. Information overload is running rampant. Too much input makes the robot send springs boinging inch from its head. We are no different.

  • Deborah Polydys

    I love technology and all the possibilities it creates  - both in the workplace and in our personal lives. Yet, unplugging to give yourself time to be leads to greater creativity....