No Work Talk Allowed: Josh Gad’s Rules for Work-Life Balance on Vacation
No Work Talk Allowed: Josh Gad's Rules for Work-Life Balance on Vacation - Unplug and Unwind
In today's constantly connected world, it can be challenging to fully unplug from work while on vacation. Emails pile up, Slack notifications never stop, and your team still needs you—or so it feels. But taking time away from work responsibilities is critical for avoiding burnout and nurturing your mental health.
"We're never fully present when we're attached to our devices," says mindfulness coach Leah Weiss. "It's impossible for our minds to be calm and our nervous systems to reset when we're getting dinged by notifications."
So when actor Josh Gad takes his family on vacation, he institutes a strict "no work talk" policy. This means no checking emails, no taking calls, and no discussing office matters.
Entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg agrees. "We have a 'no tech at the table' rule, even when we go out to restaurants as a family," she told NBC News. This allows mealtimes to become a sacred space for catching up and bonding.
Other travelers echo the wisdom of disconnecting. "I completely unplug when on vacation," says lawyer Alicia T. "It allows me to destress and focus on my family. The work emails will keep coming whether I respond or not."
Of course, unplugging isn't always easy—especially for small business owners or those with demanding jobs. That's why virtual assistant Penelope T. recommends setting an away message. "Let your team know when you'll be back with a short but clear OOO response," she says. This sets expectations while freeing you from the compulsion to check in.
The benefits of devices downtime are real. A 2019 study found that just 5 days in nature without devices boosts cognitive performance and decreases stress hormones. Other research shows device-free vacations make us happier.
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- No Work Talk Allowed: Josh Gad's Rules for Work-Life Balance on Vacation - Unplug and Unwind
- No Work Talk Allowed: Josh Gad's Rules for Work-Life Balance on Vacation - Leave the Laptop at Home
No Work Talk Allowed: Josh Gad's Rules for Work-Life Balance on Vacation - Leave the Laptop at Home
"I used to think I couldn't live without my laptop, even for a few days," says accountant Sanjay G. "Now I relish screen-free vacations. I'm calmer, sleep better, and engage more with my family."
"Even when I don't open my laptop on vacation, just having it nearby stresses me out," admits project manager Lisa T. "Now I leave all devices behind. It's amazing how liberating it feels."
Beyond easing anxiety, leaving laptops and tablets behind enhances presence. Scientists have confirmed what many intuit: these devices are dangerously distracting. One study by Microsoft found people take just 8 seconds to regain focus after a digital disruption. Our brains are not well adapted to task switching.
Travel writer Erica J. agrees. "I tried writing articles on the beach one vacation. I got work done, but missed spectacular sunsets, laughing kids, and quality time with my husband."
So if you value presence, peace, and cognitive renewal, consider joining the ranks of laptop-liberated travelers. Begin by planning activities that don't require devices, perhaps hiking, cooking classes, or museum visits. You may experience withdrawal at first, but most who unplug find they don't miss their devices at all.