As technology continues to become more accessible and more invasive into our lives than ever, the work/life balance is becoming more important.
It’s not always easy to switch off when your emails can follow you home right there on the phone in your pocket. And how do you manage to spend quality time with your family when social media demands your attention 24/7?
We share below out team’s tips on how they maintain their work/life balance and how they manage to maintain quality time away from technology.
Here we have Kevin’s best tips about how he maintains focus during work.
- Increase focus by reducing interruptions (I’ve turned off notifications accept urgent and VIP), I’ve also stopped wearing my Apple Watch which used to tap me on the wrist every time there was a notification.
- I think the brain is like a muscle, and like muscles they become fatigued with continued use. As such I try and make sure I don’t work for more than 1 to 1.5 hours without stopping and taking a break.
- Talking of breaks, taking breaks can be as simple as stopping and writing down what I’ve done for the last hour or so, and planning what I’m going to do next.
- I find that mindfulness and exercise are also really important. By taking time to do the little things (making the bed, washing up, etc) I find I have more time to do stuff and I’m far more relaxed.
- When you get stuck on a problem STOP immediately and do something else, your brain will figure it out subconsciously when you come back to it later.
Here we have Hollie’s tips for how she switches off after the work day is done and how she manages her time during the working day.
- I find connecting with nature and being outdoors really helps me. It tends to de-clutter my mind, and getting fresh air can’t be a bad thing… Every day I take my two greyhounds out for a walk. They look forward to the walks and so do I.
- I’ve started using the Pomodoro technique for managing time. This is a simple method for breaking down tasks and work time in to manageable chunks (or pomodoros) and then having a break after a set amount of time. Usually I will work for 25-30 mins and then take a 5min break. After every 4 ‘pomodoros’ you then take a longer break. There are a number of apps you can download which are timers and you can change the settings for the length of time you work and the length of time you break.
- I always stop for lunch – I think it’s important to eat properly and be mindful when you’re eating. Rather than eating at your desk and rushing your food.
- I’ve turned off all social media notifications on my phone. I found this too distracting and a bit of a waste of time when I’m trying to focus.
- I’m trying to become more disciplined with checking emails at set intervals rather than opening/reacting to every email as it comes in to my in-box. I find this also helps structure my day/time better.
Here Sarah tells us here how she tries to reduce screen time during family time.
- I’ve turned off the notifications on my phone for Facebook and my emails. It has made such a huge impact. No more little red circle popping up at my apps, instantly demanding my attention. And I get to choose when and where I go on to those apps to check what people are saying, and more importantly, I can leave my work emails for work time by not checking the app out of office hours. This leaves me with more time to spend with my family rather than with my phone. Bliss!
- I’ve started to pay attention to the new screen time notification that pops up once a week. This lets me know if I’m spending more or less time on me iPhone and whether I need to cut back some more.
- I’ve deleted the annoying, addictive, time consuming games from my phone. Do I really need that ad-sponsored power-up I can get every four hours? Not really, my life won’t fall apart without it… even if I still want to double check if it’s really gone.
It seems that the best way to manage your screen time and maintain a healthy work/life balance is to be proactive in turning off notifications and minimising your screen time by choosing not to give your time to those unnecessary games/apps that keep dragging you back with timed tasks or tempting next levels.
How easy do you find it to put down your phone and make time to do the things that are important to you? Comment below with your ideas.