How frequently have you included that you will “still have your phone on you” in your out-of-office message? Or checked emails when you get home from a Saturday night out with friends? When was the last time you actually unplugged from work entirely?
Phones, tablets, and mobile technologies have made work easier in a lot of ways; you can work from home rather than the office, get calls when you’re away from your desk, and make sure you don’t forget about that Saturday at 8AM phone meeting your boss scheduled you for. But all the technology has also made it a lot harder to unplug from work and walk away every once in a while.
Taking the time to truly unplug from work is becoming more and more important as people’s lives continue to get busier and more stressful. Being constantly connected means work is happening when you are at dinner with your friends, watching a movie with your family, and at 2AM when you get up to respond to a note you received earlier that day. It makes work the most present thing in your life, which can wear you down really fast. Even if you greatly enjoy your work, when it consumes most of your time you start to miss out on other things you enjoy, and sometimes, you stop liking your work as much as well.
Unplugging, and we mean really unplugging, can help you get back to enjoying work and enjoying your life. Whether that means turning off your notifications on Friday at 5 and having your weekend to yourself, or going all the way out-of-office with no emails and no phone calls that can be received. Taking the time away isn’t going to end your career or set you years behind, but it will make you more motivated when you return; when you haven’t spent all weekend thinking about problems you need to solve on Monday, the problems are easier to solve because you are approaching them with fresh eyes.
Disconnecting lets you get back to being just you, and giving work you a break; take advantage of that. Let yourself do what you love when you have the time off, so that you can you enjoy your work when you are doing that.