Intermittent fasting is continuing to grow in popularity as a technique to achieve physical health goals, but if we apply the same theory to technology rather than food it could just be the answer to cultivating connection in our work life.
How much time do we speak in auto-pilot as opposed to speaking in the present?
For example, when a colleague asks how you are, or how your weekend was, do you answer in autopilot or take a few moments to consider and honestly respond to their question, in the present?
When I’m in autopilot, my responses to these seemingly simple questions is Good, before asking the same question of the other person…. in which nine times out of ten I also receive a one-word reply. And to be honest, it’s not that our responses are unsure, it’s that the process in which we took to answer these questions isn’t coming from a place of true connection.
Why? Because we’re in overdrive. So, for reasons I’m by no means qualified to dive into, we switch to autopilot as a means of conserving energy for other areas of our life.
But here’s the thing, if we’re constantly in overdrive it’s hard to separate ourselves from our working life, which is exactly what is needed if we’re serious about identifying, fostering and developing connection.
We need to be able to step back, see the bigger picture, find clarity and then step back in as we reconnect to the role we play within our business’ strategic direction.
So how do we shift down a gear or two to bring true connection into our working lives? Meditation, fresh air and movement are the three things that work best for me, and no doubt many others, but these aren’t always practical options when my brain is still buzzing at the end of the day. Which is where intermittent tech fasting comes in.
Perhaps a cheat’s version of a digital detox, intermittent tech fasting allows you to set the rules. So, before you start telling me you simply can’t go a night without Netflix (I hear you), here’s how it works…
1. Identify the technology program and/or device/s that you’re going to fast from
For me, it’s my mobile phone, computer & tablet – so no internet, no emails, no social media.
2. Have a plan
Give some thought as to how you’re going to do your fast. Because when it comes to day one, you want it to be as easy as possible.
For me, my items need to be out of sight which is fairly easy to do…. but not so easy if you’ve selected your TV which just so happens to be in a space you spend most of your weeknights in.
3. Set an achievable time limit
I’ve chosen 8pm – 8am, as theoretically this still gives me time before and after I’m in the office to catch up on anything that I may have missed.
4. Commit to a starting date
Whether you want to try a full working week, half a week or just one day, it really doesn’t matter, pick a date and stick to it.
5. Start your fast
It doesn’t have to be perfect; all you need to do is start. At the end of each fast, take a moment to notice how you feel.
It’s easy to point the finger at other barriers in our working lives that prevent business goals from being achieved to their full potential, but true connection starts from within. And although there are many tools and techniques that can be utilised to bring connection into our working lives, an intermittent tech fast is an easy place to start, as it simply relies on your intention and action. No credit cards, memberships, mates, contact details, energy or holidays required.