A recent article in the New York Times called “Who’s the Boss, You or Your Gadget?” raises an interesting point about holding a balance between your personal life and your professional life. Because modern communication technologies like smartphones and WiFi enable us to be in touch with numerous people at all times, it’s difficult to separate your work life from the rest of your life. It’s easy to get distracted by text messages with friends while at the office, as well as email conversations with co-workers while at home. This blurring of the line between work and home is unprecedented in its ubiquity and can be disruptive to leading a healthy life.
iPhones, laptops, and email have a way of making work and life bleed into one another, which can be challenging. Despite instant communication’s temptation to blend the diverse areas of life, you should strive to create some useful boundaries.
Here are some ways to manage technology and honor some boundaries:
- Limit the amount of time you spend on the internet and make personal phone calls while you’re at work. Do the same after office hours, unless you work non-traditional hours.
- Check your emails at regular intervals during the day and evening. Check your emails less frequently outside of work, unless you are working on a project at home.
- After checking your email, reply with brief efficient messages.
- Have coworkers call you on your office phone when they need to contact you when you’re at work, and turn your personal phone off.
- Only take files home that you absolutely need. The more you leave at work the healthier. Obviously, if you work at home, you need to have everything in your home office.
Technology has the potential effect of increasing productivity and work quality, but sometimes these gains come at the price of increased stress on employees. Don’t let this happen to you: pay attention to what constitutes balance in your life.
What are your thoughts about creating balance in your life?