9 successful CEOs and entrepreneurs who can go hours — sometimes days — without checking their email or phone
- Some successful people take long breaks from email and digital technology (or don’t use them at all).
- Still, they manage to be rockstars in fields like tech, finance, and fashion.
- Below, see nine of those people, including John Paul DeJoria, who doesn’t use computers, and Karlie Kloss, who takes a weekly digital detox.
When you’re the founder or CEO of a company, it’s a given that people are going to be vying for your time and attention. It’s your choice how to respond.
Some of those CEOs and founders opt to be glued to their phones all day, checking email and the news. Others opt to limit the energy they devote to digital technology, going hours, days, and sometimes weeks without checking in.
Below, we’ve listed nine successful people who have spoken publicly about digital detoxing, checking out, and going off the grid. Read on to find out how and why they do it:
Hinge CEO Justin McLeod disconnects from work for a week or two at a time
“I’m a much better decision-maker, I’m a much better strategist, I’m a much better leader when I’m not wrapped up in the minutia of what’s going on in the company and what’s going on in the world,” McLeod told Business Insider. “I’m giving myself the space.”
He also tries to disconnect from work for one or two weeks every year. “That helps me clarify my thoughts, when I’m not sucked up in the instant day-to-day operations of Hinge,” McLeod said.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff completely unplugged for 2 weeks
CNBC reports that in July 2018, Benioff mailed his iPhone and iPad to his summer home in Hawaii — then left for a two-week vacation in the Galapagos Islands, Bora Bora and Easter Island.
Benioff has long been a proponent of meditation, mindfulness, and seeing the world with a “beginner’s mind,” a concept from Zen Buddhism that describes constantly seeing the world anew, as if you didn’t know anything about it.
While meditating and taking calls exclusively by landline that summer, Benioff realized he was too busy and decided to bring on a co-CEO.
Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington tucks her phone into bed at night
Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global (and previously, HuffPost) has for years been championing sleep as the key to success. So perhaps it’s no surprise that she advocates keeping your phone out of your bedroom, like she does.
In a Medium interview, Huffington said she puts her phone “to bed.” She added, “Our phones are repositories of everything we need to put away in order to sleep: our to-do lists, our inboxes, the demands of the world. Charging your phone away from your bed makes you more likely to wake up as fully charged as your phone.”
And she never checks her phone first thing in the morning.