You are on your way to the office and you are answering e-mails. It's 11pm and you are on a conference call with a team across the globe. It's 5 in the morning and you are working on a client presentation. Unfortunately, this kind of schedule has become a way of life for many of us. Technological advancement has taken over the traditional eight hours' work day. It's become a necessity to answer emails at any point of time of the day and to always be connected. With technology at our fingertips, there's no excuse not to be, is there?
It is high time we remind ourselves that technology has a "power off" button, and we should be wise enough to know when to use that too.
But when we constantly work beyond office hours, finding a balance between our professional and personal life becomes harder and harder. Work demands are more often than not seen as "urgent" and "important" and so they get prioritised. Ultimately, we end up working pretty much around the clock, never quite able to switch off. Though technology provides us with some wonderful benefits, we subconsciously develop an unhealthy attachment towards it. It is high time we remind ourselves that technology has a "power off" button, and we should be wise enough to know when to use that too.
Below are a few reasons and tips to unplug post work hours.
Not everything is important
Being always connected creates a persistent sense of urgency. When you take some time off, you will tend to perceive that even the most important thing can and will actually wait. It is essential to understand what is important or what is just perceived to be so.
Engage in after-work activities
When you have no activity to indulge in post work hours, you will end up carrying office work home. It's always good to engage in something post-work. By involving yourself in non-office activity, you will have the capacity to isolate yourself from work, and have some good times while you are busy.
Set aside an hour or so to respond to emails
If you constantly check your emails after work hours, you will never have time for your personal life. To avoid this trap, set aside an hour or so to respond to emails and to complete any pending work that has been carried home. Post this, turn off your work mail to ensure that you are not distracted or disturbed by email notifications.
You'll sleep and wake up better
When we deal with overseas clients, e-mails pour in at any time. So, unplugging post work helps you to sleep and wake up better. You will feel calmer and more stable if you aren't perpetually anxious about midnight emails that you've seen before getting into bed.
"Emergency": Handle with care
You will eventually learn the difference between various kinds of emergencies. There are emergencies which can wait for a few hours and others that do need your immediate attention. Have a plan on how to handle such situations. The calmer you are, the sooner you will solve the problem, saving both time and energy.
Remember that family and friends matter
The world might be evolving, but the basic ideology of personal and family life has most certainly not. Don't miss out on life that's happening in front of you. There are some occasions and experiences that cannot be relived. Enjoy conversations that are genuine, unfiltered and not time bound. Do not be too busy staring at that screen and miss out on the beautiful things happening around you.
Sometimes, that extra effort is worth it
Most young millennials are in their crucial years, laying the foundation of their career. You are highly competitive and hence you are spending those extra hours on work, week after week and month after month.
Pause! Hold! Rethink!
Yes, you need to be on top of deadlines, but you also need to unplug to recharge for a better, energised tomorrow. This allows you to bring down your stress levels and start each day afresh.
In today's world, it might not be possible to completely detach yourself from work after office hours, but you can always find ways to balance time between your personal and professional life. Take advantage of modern-day innovations and utilise apps that will help ease your work. In the end the secret to success in all phases of life is to give your 100% to anything that you do—and that includes your relationships and interests.