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July 5, 2015

How Often Do You Unplug?

Our work lives are ruled by technology. E-mail and texting keep us plugged into the workplace long after the workday to the detriment of our peace of mind. We cannot truly relax and unwind when we are regularly checking, sending, and responding to work messages. According to an article in Fast Company, “…22% of employed e-mail users are expected to respond after hours. Half of us check e-mail on the weekends, and 34% on vacation.”shutterstock_140675734

This constant focus on work raises our stress and can actually decrease productivity. Breaks from the job are necessary to refresh creativity, resilience, and enthusiasm. So how can you unplug? Here are some tips:

  • Set an enforced time out. Turn off devices, put them in a drawer, and resist the urge to turn them on until a set amount of time passes.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend on e-mail and texting during your free hours. Set aside 30 minutes or an hour here and there during the evenings and weekends to handle work-related messages. When the time is up, unplug.
  • Refuse to let anyone text or e-mail during meals. Some people turn off phones and pile them in the center of the table. The first one who checks their phone, pays the tab. At home, that person has to do the dishes.

Downtime is necessary to avoid burnout and relieve the stress of your job. While technology tools are necessary, refuse to let work rule your time off from the job. Choose one of these tips and start unplugging! See my blog post Stress Busters for more information.

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