Blurred Lines: The Importance of Switching Off

I was out for dinner the other night at lets say 7:30pm, and my phone went off, not once but five times with emails from different people. My girlfriend looked at me questioning why on earth would people email at 7:30pm at night and I just shrugged, as crazy as it is – this is totally normal.

For us in the PR, blogging or new media world (although let’s be honest, for most of us in general), our phones are always on, we are sending an email, while posting something to Instagram, giving advice to your best friend who just broke up with her boyfriend while thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner tomorrow night.

When you put it simply like that it’s no wonder we are on constant burn out watch, when work and life cross over. There is no longer 9-5 hours and if you’re lucky enough to work in an industry like that, chances are you still get emails from clients or your boss late at night with commentary, to-lists, complaints and even more.

So when did this become acceptable and how is it really affecting our day-to-day lives?

I believe it’s extremely important to switch off. In order to do our work well, we need to relax, recharge and spend time with people we love, doing things we love, in order to give 100% to our work.

That means where possible:

  • Switch off your email notifications after 6pm and get to them in the morning (even if it means getting up a little earlier to filter through them,) nighttime should be your time to go to the gym, spend with friends, family and to recharge
  • Schedule your social media in advance so you don’t have to keep doing it throughout the day
  • Allocate 20 minutes of your time to reply to comments, like photos and socially interact on social media ONLY
  • If you’re worried about being totally unavailable at night – dedicate 20 minutes between finishing dinner and doing the washing up to replying to those oh so urgent emails

How important is it to you to switch off after hours? What are your favourite tips and tricks? Let me know below!

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