When it comes to work, technology can either make you break or break it. Even though you do our job it works very well, and it can mean that you are connected to your work every hour of the day – which can be exhausting and unnecessary. Clearly, 2020 has exacerbated this further; by working from home into a viable future, it is important to be able to make your technology work for you. Here are some simple ways to make sure you maintain a work-life balance — even if you work remotely.
- Delete, delete, delete
Another easy way to not let work get in the way of your personal time is to remove the email app from your phone just after you finish work on Friday (this can apply to any communication apps your company uses). After that, you can download it again every Monday morning once you have officially started your work day. This will not only allow you to enjoy your weekend fully and without distractions, but you will start your work week with a much more peaceful foot. You don’t really need to start worrying about work emails the second time you wake up on a Monday morning.
This may sound like a pain, but it only takes 60 seconds to download the app each week, and you’ll benefit greatly by deleting the email completely from your view every weekend.
Communication managers: the same for you. Delete and re-download any communication apps you should not check over the weekend. If you have not been asked to call, it is okay to give up and breathe.
- Do not be afraid to interrupt
It may sound like a big deal to cut yourself off from the world, but hopefully, once you’ve learned to trust the “do not disturb” settings on your phone, you’ll never want to go back. If you only have a phone that works, or even better – you can set your entire device to “do not interrupt” hours.
If you are using your phone as a work phone, you can still do so, but you may want to let some friends and family members call you right away. If your manager needs access to it, don’t worry: if they call twice within three minutes, the phone will ring (you can read more about how all of these features work here). But no, you do not need to respond to your employer’s scrutiny if you are trying to enjoy dinner with your family.
- Delete notifications
Even if you don’t open that Slack message or email in the early morning, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t interfere with your time. That’s the time you spend accessing your phone, looking at your screen, and making a mental note to respond over time. Now you may find yourself thinking about that message during your trip or while cleaning after dinner instead of holding your favorite podcast. Turn off any unwanted notifications – on your phone and computer – and cut down on interruptions. This also applies to personal applications as well. Not only will you find your own time to feel more comfortable, but you will also not be distracted during work. Do more and get your butt home.
- Block your worst distractions
We all have a few websites that we pull around for a very small amount during the day (this author has been guilty of updating the New York Magazine site regularly since 2008). Try setting some website restrictions on your computer to help you keep your focus during the day. These setbacks can slow you down and cause you to work late than you should, especially if you work from home where it is easy to fall into the trap of production and work late to compensate. Many of these tools allow you to block devices during set-up (think 9-5), and some take away your access to the site completely until you say you want it back. This list of blockers is a great place to start!
- Use technology to set boundaries
Do you remember the day when we would customize our AIM chat room sites whenever we left that precious screen? It’s not entirely clear why anyone needs to know we’re in the shower, but it just went that way. Today, you can do the same with your modern means of communication. Whenever you walk out of the office or just want heads up for a while, feel free to change your status to Slack, set a time on your social calendar, or set up OOO notifications notifying colleagues when you return online. This may sound daunting at times, but once the expectations are set, no one will feel like you are waiting for your response as they know you are not available right now.
- Track your movements
We are talking about reality. Track every movement you make with a smart watch, your phone, or some other type of exercise tracking device. Set walking goals and use your tech pal to track your steps and keep responding. Check your progress throughout the day – the app can be just a reminder you need to take a break and get your blood flowing!
- Set reminders with a break
Similar to how you can use your tech devices to give you a move when you need to travel, use your phone or computer to set reminders on a break. It is very easy to get caught up in our work and forget to take breaks, but you need to take them. Restrict the duration of a strict meal break for your calendar, or set a timer to notify you once you’ve worked the exact hour. Submit. Breathing. Stop typing. Do whatever you can to reduce tension, take a break, and relax. You deserve it.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: