Challenge: Unplug in the Evenings
When was the last time that you truly unplugged from technology? How often do you check your work email outside of work hours? There are times when we NEED to stay connected, however, the problem arises when we stay connected instead of enjoying QUALITY personal time. With the ease of accessibility offered by technology today, it can at times seem impossible to mentally step away from work. If you often find that you end and begin each day by checking your work email, it’s time to set appropriate boundaries and “unplug.”
What is driving you to have the CONSTANT need to stay connected outside of work? Do you have a fear that you’ll let your team down or are you simply afraid of missing a time-sensitive request? Regardless of the reason, it’s important to understand exactly what is holding you back from unplugging and having a positive work/life balance. Identify your motive and begin taking action to unplug. Without balance, you’re sure to experience burnout and, ironically, reduced work performance.
Try these three simple tips to begin achieving balance TODAY:
1. Set expectations with your colleagues and clients as to when you CAN and CANNOT be reached during the evenings and weekends. Less outreach will directly correlate with less temptation to continually check your phone and email.
2. Silence your phone and turn OFF email notifications after business hours. We’ve become so conditioned by the constant "ping" and vibration in our pockets that we often want to check our devices when we DON'T hear notifications come through. By silencing and turning off notifications after hours, you’ll slowly condition yourself to feel the need to check for work updates.
3. Create "unplug periods" before bedtime. If you find the first two difficult, or if your responsibilities truly do not allow you to unplug in the evenings, try to unplug at least 30 minutes BEFORE bed and stay unplugged at least 30 minutes AFTER you wake up the following morning. Checking email, browsing the internet, and checking social media during these two time periods does NOT give your mind the much-needed opportunity to relax. By practicing just this one tip, you’ll quickly begin to have less tension and feel more refreshed.
If these tips help to improve your work/life balance, leave a comment, and share your story.
All the best!
Andy Robinson, Executive Coach
"Helping CEO's and executives maximize their influence and impact."