There are many pros and cons to the increase in technology and digital communication that has occurred over the past few decades. While being able to instantly communicate with other people around the world is great, it has its drawbacks.
Instant messaging through text, email, and phone has caused people to take on a lot more work responsibilities at home. With smartphones, it became even more constant, since you always had a way to access all kinds of communication.
Years ago, when you left work, you were done with work for the day. You didn’t have to worry about having to keep up with what’s going on at your job or keep your notifications on in case someone needs to talk to you outside of your hours.
Nowadays, you might be still checking work related emails and getting work related messages late into the night when you’re supposed to be relaxing instead. Not only is this stressful, but it can lead to a poor work-life balance.
By doing a digital detox, where you completely unplug from any kinds of work related information, you can improve your happiness and work-life balance by giving yourself more genuine personal time.
You might do this every night or just on certain ones, like weekends. Set up a schedule that works for you and stick with it. If you let yourself get pulled around by work when you’re not on the clock, people (including customers and clients) are going to take advantage of that.
For example, let’s say you were trying to enjoy a dinner with your family. You shouldn’t be checking your phone to read new emails coming in as they’re being sent to you, and you certainly shouldn’t be responding, either.
Not only does this make them think you’ll always be available outside of work, but it’s also detracting from the time you’re supposed to be spending with your family and enjoying your dinner.
Make sure your colleagues and clients know that you won’t be available outside of work. It’s unfair to you to have to work via communication when you’re not getting paid for it or when your loved ones need you. Do the job that you’re supposed to, and enjoy the time that you have off.
If you must, turn off your phone and computer altogether while you go do something else. Do whatever it takes to let go of the devices and stop compulsively checking in on your job when you’re not working.
Until next time
Dominus Owen Markham