With email, smartphones, and now smartwatches, it’s not so easy to “turn off” and take a break from work and the madness we live in sometimes. The constant work emails, the “leash” of being constantly on although we think we’re not. The way we can’t help but check to see what that one message said. Whether it’s a Monday evening after 8pm or a Saturday over lunch, sometimes we have to stop ourselves in order to have a little sanity in the overall span of things.
I know that I have the problem. Being a digital marketer, I’m constantly on for work, and even on some days off, I am checking emails, making sure things are staying on track, and no fire drills occur. Typical stuff, but then I realize when do I truly shut off? When I sleep? I can do better. We can do better.
I’ve been trying harder to go in earlier or stay later at work, so when I am home, I am more committed to my time at home and my friends and family. I may still check my email for urgent requests and issues, but I try harder not to respond to emails that I know can wait until I get in the next morning. Not easy, and I definitely fail sometimes.
But when I do succeed, I realize I feel more balanced. I feel like I am accomplishing more. I am taking more time to do more of what I want outside of work too. For example, I even find time to read a book on my commute on the subway in the AM and taking the time to walk home to decompress from the day afterward. A little “me” time after a successful work day. A little time to “unplug” even if I am still plugged into my spotify app or instagram checking to see if I get any likes (perhaps a little FOMO too).
So what can we all do to silence our inner radios a little more? Perhaps it’s not everyday, but perhaps a couple days out of the week we take the night off to be with ourselves and/or the people we enjoy hanging out with. Whether it’s to catch a spin class, grab a glass of wine, or just watch a movie. That time to decompress is what makes us more ready the next day, and less likely to burn out.
So next time you feel that urge to stay on your phone all night, take a minute and think. What is better for your productivity?