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If you play it right, your weekend can be a mini-vacation. A two-day oasis of work-less time and space where you’re free to indulge in your hobbies, catch up with friends, and totally recharge.

Or, if you’re like many, it can be a pseudo-break: You’re technically out of the office, but you’re constantly being pinged with emails and reminded of the to-dos that await.

With September starting up and the fall kicking into gear, most of us don’t have any vacations coming up, which means that making the most of your weekends becomes all the more important. So, what’s the best way to ensure you leave work at work and get the R&R you need?

My favorite trick is to use your smartphone—just as a phone.

Truth is, most days you’re actually carrying a mini-computer around in your pocket, with your work email buzzing and notifications from a million different apps distracting you from, well, life. Which makes it pretty hard to disconnect from work. And while you could very well leave your smartphone at home, most people need to reach others when they’re out and about or be able to call or text to make plans.

Here’s how I turn my trusty smartphone into a dumb phone again and keep my work emails from interrupting my Saturday.


Option 1: Flip the Switch

This is the nuclear option, but trust me, it’s worth a try. With only a few clicks, you can turn off both Wi-Fi and 3G from your phone, turning it into a call-and-text-only device of yore. This will keep any new emails or app notifications from popping up, with the added benefit of keeping the temptation of Facebook at bay.


For iOS

  1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Make sure Wi-Fi is turned off.
  2. Go to Settings > Cellular > Turn off “Cellular Data.”
  3. When you’re ready to get back to the real world, just flip the switch back to on for both 1 and 2.


For Android

  1. Go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Make sure Wi-Fi is turned off.
  2. Go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Mobile networks > Turn off both “use packet data” and “data roaming.”
  3. When you’re ready to get back to the real world, just flip the switch back to on for both 1 and 2.

Pro Tip: Turning off cellular data but keeping Wi-Fi on is a great way to avoid roaming charges when traveling internationally.


Option 2: Pick and Choose

If you really need to access apps or can’t get around town without Google Maps or Yelp, you can still make sure to shut off from work. Follow step 1 above, but leave Cellular Data on. Then, just go down the list of all of your apps and turn it off individually, leaving just the apps you need in the moment.



With a click of a few buttons, your weekend is yours again.



Tell us! Do you have any tricks to turning work off on the weekends?