The Times have teamed up with technology expert Rob Young of Infinity to deliver a bi-monthly column where Rob will discuss a whole range of topics relating to technology in business.

Rob Young

When I first started working, mobile phones were around, but certainly not common place. The first device I had at work was the pager, whilst at college I worked part time and strutted around with this thing attached to my belt running to the nearest payphone when it started making a noise.

The pager eventually moved to a mobile, on which I seemed to make endless calls, and had the thing pretty much glued to my ear. Then came email sent to your phone, and now social media and the world of apps; life has changed a lot but there is much to be said about putting all these devices away and taking some time out.

I recently took a holiday with my family in France and I had decided that, for the first time in nearly 25 years, I would disconnect from this frantic world. The fi rst few days were tough. Eventually I managed to relax and started to enjoy the simple things in life without the anxiety of something turning up and changing my mood – I had time to really think and spend some quality time with the family.

To try and embrace the digital free world

1. Keep work phones switched off outside office hours.

2. Check emails and social networks in the morning and evening, but enjoy the day in-between.

3. Try and promote face to face meetings or voice calls rather than texting and emailing.

Although it’s difficult these days to totally disconnect, I think it’s important to take time away from the constant intrusion, and maybe manage your work day in a more structured manor where you’re not constantly reacting to your inbox, allowing you to spend more time thinking and talking.

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