When you’re hooked on work-a-hol, living through the smartphone decade doesn’t help.
Reachable everywhere, at all hours of the week, today’s workforce can be forgiven for feeling like a servant class to BlackBerry overloads, buzzing with new commands. If you don’t take a step back to draw boundaries between the conference room and the living room, work life coach Sue Thompson says, you could sacrifice your free will to a phone.
“We no longer have a work life and a home life,” she says. “We have a life and we really need to decide how we want to live that life.”
Chances are you haven’t had time to ask yourself that existential question, concurs Careers By Design Founder Shirin Khamisa.
“Look at your habits, get a reality check,” she says. “Is the way you’re functioning really serving you? If you’re texting at the dinner table, how is that affecting your interaction with your family? If you’re a young, single person, how does always being connected affect your personal life?”
Keeping your thumbs surgically attached to the phone could hurt more than your dating career, she notes. It could destroy your actual career.
“Often times working less makes you more productive,” she explains.
She encourages, ask yourself: Is it truly worth hammering away into the deep night, before slumping to work the next morning, tired, hollow, and ineffective?
“Start thinking in terms of results,” she urges.
Create a Switch
Trouble disconnecting? Create what career counsellor Courtney Anderson calls “a mental switch.”
“Take that switch and say ‘I’m off, I’m logging off,’” she recommends. “Take personal time. Otherwise, with technology, it’s possible to be always working.”
“You have to create a psychological barrier more than anything,” agrees Thompson.
She suggests a change of clothes.
“Dress professionally for work,” she offers. “That way, when you get home and you take off those clothes, that’s your psychological barrier that shows your’re at home.”
If you don’t Anderson adds, you could lose perspective.
“If you don’t make that serious effort, it’s all going to blend in,” she says. “I’m sure in five or ten years, it’s going to be even harder.”