My cell phone is like my lifeline at work. Do you notice that too? You have it on, and with you all the time, so you aren’t missing replies to emails that you sent, or meeting invites that you need to respond to.
It’s your calendar for the day when you’re busy rushing from one meeting to another, sometimes across locations. It’s the only way you stay sane in the busy life of the corporate world.
During the day it never stops. Sure, you might turn it to silent when you’re in a meeting and yet you still glance at it a number of times during the meeting. It’s focus taking your attention away from the person who is speaking.
It’s okay. You’ll have taken in enough of what they said to handle their request.
Breaks where you use your phone aren’t breaks
Even at lunch, if you take a break, you are on your cell phone. This time it might be checking Facebook to try and disconnect from the busyness of your day. Or, you might still be handling work stuff, constantly.
The afternoon is simply a repeat of the crazy morning that you’ve had and this same pattern happens day in and day out. Your phone is your partner. It’s the one thing that you can trust and depend on.
It keeps you sane, and yet, it is also that thing that has you not able to switch off the minute you walk out the door of your office building.
There’s a difference between leaving work, and LEAVING work
Sure, you might have physically left work, but you are still very much connected to work because your phone keeps reminding you of that fact.
You leave work and other people are still working, sending you emails and meeting invites. Following up on things they hadn’t gotten to. You phone is still your work companion well into the night time 8 pm, then 9 pm, or maybe even later.
With your phone on and functioning you can’t possibly move yourself away from your work.
You’re phone isn’t paying you
You are not paid to work these extra hours. The things that come in after you leave the office will still be there tomorrow. There is nothing that urgent that it needs your attention tonight and if there is, the person will likely call you.
Your mind will feel crazy and stay crazy the more you are not open to switching off. You need to disengage and take some down time.
The best thing you can do for your mind is to stop. Stop doing what you’ve been doing all day. Sit quietly, or do something else. In order to sleep and have a solid sleep you need to switch off your mind.
What does downtime look like for you?
So, what can you do to do that? Is it to watch some of your favorite TV shows that you love? Or perhaps to read a novel that you’ve always wanted to read? What about going out to dinner and the movies?
Do something different, that’s not work. Switch off your phone and leave work at work. That’s what work life balance is all about.
If you leave the phone on, you will feel crazier because you mind will tend to continue to focus on being a work, even though you’ve left.