While technology spurs instant, convenient connectivity, it also causes chaos. Unplug from daily cellular and cyber distractions to unwind and regroup:

Designate electronic blackouts. Sure access is available 24/7, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Your cell has an on/off switch; so does your modem. If you can’t bring yourself to power down, consider scaling back. Pick a day or at least a few hours when you commit to letting calls go to voicemail, closing up the inbox, or signing off Facebook. You might be surprised how much you’re able to get done when those gadgets designed to make you more efficient are taken offline.

Avoid multitasking tendencies. Checking email or texting while on another call or in a meeting doesn’t save time, it splits attention. Leave the BlackBerry in your bag while driving, talking to someone else, or working on a project. You’ll not only practice etiquette, but you’ll be safer and more focused on the task at hand.

Enforce limits and make them public. Determine how often you’ll check messages, then indicate those times in your email signature and voicemails. Inform friends, family, and coworkers that you prefer not to receive forwarded emails, especially at work. Avoid setting your Internet homepage to news sites. Without the headlines, you’ll be less tempted to surf.

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