Now that I am working I am very quickly learning that it is important to be able to switch off from work mode. This is especially vital when one works from home. I have a set number of hours that I need to work per month, and tasks that all need to be finished in a certain time frame. Of course, at the beginning it will take me longer as I am not that familiar with the software and every step that I have to take – but it’s already getting easier.
That being said, it is so easy to just run downstairs to my office and take care of a couple of emails in the evening, tweak the HTML for the next days posts, so that I don’t have to deal with it all the next day. Bad idea. A couple of emails could turn into an hour that I am sitting in my office taking care of things that can wait till the next day, instead of spending time with the family.
When I eat lunch or dinner I am deliberately leaving my blackberry in the office, and when I am doing homework with the kids, or just chillaxing with them and the KoD in the evening, I make it a point that I don’t check my work email.
The hardest part, so far, was last weekend. I don’t work Fridays, but other people do and there were emails coming in. I had to work hard to ignore them, and to also ignore the thought in my head that said “you have 34 emails (and counting) in your inbox to deal with Monday morning….” I totally switched off.
I spent the weekend immersed in the children, the KoD and household stuff – and came to my office refreshed and ready to take on the week this morning. I accomplished. I did more than I set out to do on my to-do list, and I feel extremely efficient.
There will be emails that trickle through in the hours that I am not working, but it is getting easier and easier to tell myself that I don’t have to deal with it now, and that it can wait.
I have to be firm with my work hours, otherwise I will be burned out. I want my job to get the best ME it can, and I want the kids to have the best IMA they can, and for the KoD to have the best QoH that he can. And that means compartmentalizing, which is no easy feat. But I am working on it.
How do you switch off from work mode?