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The Aptitude Blog

A CEO’s 10 tips for digital detox

July 11, 2019
Posted by Tom Crawford

As the CEO of Aptitude Software, a fast growing and global company, Tom Crawford was looking for ways to decrease time spent on digital devices and free up time to think deeply and creatively about business issues and communicate with people in a more effective way.  Inspired by his son, he found a few ways to pull away from the constant dings of his smartphone and regain what he likes to call, ‘Tom’s Vibe.’

Digital Detox Inspiration

I recently went on vacation with my family and discovered that my Gen Z son – born with digital technology in his hand – had gone through a digital transformation of sorts. Not the type of digital transformation effort our clients embrace, but a digital detox transformation.We discussed how his reduced use of technology had actually increased his productivity, creativity and ability to connect with people. The kind of wins anyone – from a teenager to a CEO – can appreciate.

After our discussion and the reading of Off: Your Digital Detox for a Better Life, by Tanya Goodin, I was ready to kick off my own digital detox to regain what I like to call, ‘Tom’s Vibe.’ For me ‘Tom’s Vibe’ is all about reconnecting to the world around me and communicating in a more personal and effective manner. The result, I find, is greater productivity, creativity and better relationships.

The first step I took was to ‘upgrade’ my iPhone to a Nokia 3310. Yes, I recognize this is the opposite of what most people typically do but I found that using this model encouraged me to place a call rather than text or email, removed the distraction of other smartphone apps and reduced the need to charge my phone.

Engaging with the people around me is important to the business and my role. Allowing our extremely talented people to do what they do best requires strong leadership.  It’s my job to provide inspiration and creative ideas without over-crowding them. Keeping fresh and sane requires the head-space to think without interruption. With less digital distraction, I find I can respond and lead in a more thoughtful and inspiring way.

Digital Detox Tips

Our digital world offers many benefits and has ushered in a new era of connectivity and productivity.  However, it can also be a distraction if not used in the right way. Making time and space for creativity and connection has been essential to successfully leading my organization.

With that in mind here are my 10 Digital Detox Tips:








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Cheers to good health and regaining your vibe.


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Tom Crawford
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