You need to learn to shut down. You’re not a computer or a robot and it is impossible for you to stay powered up 24/7. This is probably more important now, than it’s ever been. Since the pandemic broke out, people working from home have stayed connected to their devices, in an attempt to ensure they pass on the right message –that they aren’t slacking. What has this led to? Quite frankly, the utter disrespect for boundaries and other people’s time. Work hours have literally gone out the window and every hour seems to belong to your employer.
For those of you still working from home, here are a couple of tips on how you can take back your time and re-introduce boundaries to your work relationships.
Sometimes, leave your phone at home
Try running quick errands without your phone. You don’t need your phone in the grocery store, at the drycleaner’s or when you’re picking up takeout. Give yourself some room to breathe.
Put your phone on do-not-disturb or on flight mode
You can do this during short midday meditation periods or when you just need some silence. Better still, do this when you go to bed at night to avoid being interrupted by notifications.
Switch off your push notifications
Do this for most of your apps. Only leave the essentials on, such as your AccessMore app and other apps that help you keep track of sensitive information.
Go on an internet fast
Pick a day of the week where you’re just not going to be online at all. No answering emails, texts or social media. Interact only with your environment.
Reinstate work boundaries
This may be the trickiest one to do but is probably the most necessary. Make it a habit not to answer calls beyond 7pm or before 7am unless it is an emergency. As you do this for yourself, make sure you practice this when thinking about calling another colleague during this period. Slowly but surely, your colleagues will get the message. If you can’t go totally silent, respond only to necessary texts.
Connect with people…in real life.
It’s not a 100% safe to go out in some places, but in the places you can, make dates with your loved ones. And where you can’t, make an actual phone call. Don’t send a text or DM.
Being constantly accessible isn’t healthy. You need to learn to shut down and sometimes take a step back. In the long run, it will help your overall mental and emotional stability and increase your performance.
See also: The Fear of Embarassment