So, you’ve had a long, stressful day. Your boss clearly intends on driving you to death via work overload, and the neighbour has once again parked his car on your lawn. But at least, with the sun long gone and office hours behind you, there is a good nights rest in store. A recharge you sorely need, given that tomorrow will likely deliver similar stress.
No, says your phone, here is a notification for you. It seems you have an email, and it turns out your boss hates you more than expected. He’s chewing you out for a mistake you made. It could have waited until morning, but…
Is Technology a Friend Or Foe?
Yes, technology is a miraculous thing, granting efficiency like never before and allowing for a virtual workstation on the move. Imagining life now without a mobile device is like imagining being cast back into the Stone Age. But this blessing comes with a hefty downside, namely that being wired into technology makes it virtually impossible to relax.
The notion of keeping a social life and work life separate is almost a joke these days, given that everyone you know has access to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this isn’t the smartest way to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Balance Is Key
Some have taken the unique approach of having two separate phones. One for work and one for play. When work is done, the work phone is turned off, and the ‘fun’ phone turned on.
This, although seeming extreme, is perhaps the smartest approach that can be taken. Sure, your friends with expensive suits and an unquenchable determination for success will tell you that a real businessperson is available 24 hours a day. But that really is only the words of an individual who takes a very specific approach to life.
Others don’t wake up each morning breathing a desire to live a career, and if you’re one of the average among us, keeping work, stress and other distractions at bay for relaxation time is the key to staying sane. Though, two separate phones are not the extreme measure that necessarily need be taken. Simply setting solid boundaries between social life, personal time and work time is all that is required.
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It Can Wait
The simple yet effective phrase ‘it can wait’ is a powerful one. Did you need to read your bosses email giving you grief at 9PM? The simple answer is no. It could have waited. If it was an emergency another form of communication would have been used- except that perhaps your boss is so used to you being online all the time that you need to tell them that you won’t be reading your emails after hours any more.
When you sign up for a job, you generally have set working hours. When that time is over, your boss is imposing on time that belongs to you. The problem is, thanks to modern technology, we are all so readily available all the time. Now, we need to decide how available we make ourselves, so we can enjoy a bit of R and R at the end of every day and avoid work stress where possible.
You Are Master Of Your Hours
In other words, if it can wait, don’t waste time, effort and anxiety over it when you’re trying to enjoy a bit of downtime. You need to take charge and manage technology so that it doesn’t manage you! You also need to manage your bosses’ expectations, and those friends who think sending text messages late at night is totally acceptable…