There we go again, I’m offline!
by Eduard Schaepman, on 30 Jul 2020
Perhaps you know by now: a few weeks a year, I’m completely offline. Recharging, getting new energy and insights. Just before my holidays, I often get the question: 'but you're still answering your phone, aren't you? "But I can still reach you on WhatsApp? How else do I update you on certain things?' A short answer; ‘not’. Just like last year, I'm going cold turkey on the first day of my vacation. That phone, laptop and tablet will go into the closet and don't come out again until August 14th.
Through my social media channels, I will inform my network about my offline weeks. It saves a lot if you inform your network: no disappointed people who have tried to reach you. Of course, a good out-of-office does the same, but it saves a lot of overdue emails when people know there is no point in emailing or calling you.
For friends and family, I can be reached on an emergency phone; one of those real retro 'fridges' that can withstand water & falls, and well, hurricanes as well. Before I turn off my smartphone and turn on the ‘fridge’, I send a last message to the same friends and family: 'there we go, I'm offline, reachable on the emergency number! And then it's time for the holidays!
Of course, it will take some adjusting. Most people have trouble letting go of work at the start of their holidays: especially thanks to the smartphone, they are online 24/7, and read all emails that come in after working hours within half an hour. After my previous offline period in the summer of 2019, I decided to make some adjustments to my 'online life' as well. I took my mail off my phone, and only look at set times to see who needs me for what. I also only open WhatsApp and social media if I want to. What do I have to get used to then? The fact that I won't be called when my phone is turned off! You can imagine that as CEO of a fast-growing company you get called quite often.
It makes a big difference that you know you have a good business partner. I don't have to worry about the ins and outs; Co-Founder Jasper Bekkering does. And if you really need me, you just have to wait until August 14th. Because no matter how much I love to work, and no matter how bad it will itch to get back to work: my phone and laptop will stay in the closet. Until the 14th of August I will be offline to recharge my creativity battery. I'm going to enjoy it!
PS: for those who think 'Ed, what are you doing, you're giving burglars a free pass'! There’s someone in our house during the holidays.