Friday, December 29, 2017 / by Angela Hunter
We all need a break from work now and then!
By using the following five tactics, you’ll be able to easily separate work from your personal life:
1. Proper Expectations
I may be young, but I remember the days of no cell phones.
People weren’t always available, and it was ok. So, what changed?
People’s expectations of communication have evolved into an unreasonable now or never fantasy world.
Everyone thinks they need their answer five minutes ago, but things can wait.
Until the people you do business with understand that you have a personal life, you will never be able to effectively escape work time.
I know, this is easier said than done! But you must try at reframing your contact’s expectations on how they work with you.
2. Virtual Receptionist
Having a cell phone obviously makes it harder to escape work. However, allow only a select few to know your cell phone number. Everyone else, clients, colleagues, associates, etc, should all have a virtual receptionist’s number (Google Voice)
Google Voice is amazing for separating work from personal life. Because if you’re like me and you use a cell phone for your only phone, you rarely can escape the calls at odd hours and weekends.
But not with Google Voice! It works like this:
When you sign up for the free service you get a number and voicemail inbox.
From there, you get to choose what phone number calls are routed to. In turn, the caller must announce who they are which allows you to accept the call or send it to voicemail. No one is the wiser if you are technically available but not in a talkative mood.
It’s glorious! Check it out, definitely worth applying if you work with people over the phone.
3. Working space
Whatever you do, try not to mix your working area with your living area.
I know how easy it is to sit in your bed with some work, or curl up in your favorite chair with a laptop.
Don’t do it!
Subconsciously you are destroying your work-life balance.
As you condition yourself to believe your personal spaces are work spaces, you will never mentally escape your work. Therefore, dedicating a specific area for working is vital!
4. Notepad of Ideas
It always seems that the more I try not to think about work, the more I end up devoting brain power towards work ideas, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, I’m betting your best work-related ideas happen when not working. The key, though, is to not let this interfere with your personal time.
Which is why carrying a notepad, Moleskin, Evernote, or any other preferred way of capturing your ideas is vital. Write down the idea and get back to your life!
5. Managing Email
I saved the best for last.
Everyone I know has trouble escaping email, and rightfully so. We have evolved into a society that depends on email.
But if you have already completed step 1 and set proper expectations with your correspondence, the best advice I can give you is to shut down anything that receives email. The world will still revolve if that Texas Roadhouse coupon remains unopened.
Think about it; you get an email and your computer gets a popup, your phone beeps, and twelve different apps now have a number attached to the icon. It’s almost impossible to not know you have new emails waiting for you.
To escape the onslaught of email you must hide any indication of new emails. Remember the old adage: out of sight is out of mind.
Therefore, disable push notifications on your phone and close your email client… or hopefully put away the devices altogether!
With nothing announcing you have new messages, you can successfully escape email.
It’s possible to separate work & personal life!
By following the above steps, I feel positive that you’ll be able to escape the clutches of work. Good luck!