I often see and hear people working in their ‘off-time’ regularly. Personally, I think this is one of the worst things you can do. I believe it is important that people remember “you work to live, not live to work”. With technology, people nowadays are always connected and so it can be hard to switch off. But, one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your work, your partner, and your family is to switch off from work. This inability to switch off is even worse for small business owners.
So, why is it important to switch off and only work at the right time? It is about having a balanced life and ensuring you focus your energy and attention to one thing at a time. What do I mean by this? It is about putting your phone/tablet/computer away and giving the people who are most important in your life (friends and family) the attention and energy they deserve from you.
A perfect example of someone I saw not working at the right time was recently at the park. I was there with my boys (age 7 & 4). I was having a great time chasing them around and playing with them – just enjoying them as they are. And there I saw another father in the park with 2 boys of similar age. Instead of playing with them, he was on the phone with work not paying much attention to his sons. This is a perfect example of when you shouldn’t be working. He should have switched off and gave his full attention and energy to his sons.
Here are a few ways where I make sure to switch off so that I am always giving my full attention and I’m always at my best:
Create separate space and time for work and the rest of your life. I believe having some physical separation helps create the mental separation needed. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work at home. It simply means that if you want to work at home, create a space for it. That way, when you go to that space you are “at” work and when you leave that space, you are not “at” work.
Turn off your notifications. You do not immediately need to check that Facebook comment, or that Twitter mention, and even that email straight away. Allocate a specific time to go through these during the day. I personally check my emails only twice a day and deal with them then. I allocate 5 minutes a day to my Twitter and my LinkedIn. TURN THEM OFF, they aren’t that important.
Make time in your working day when you switch off. I personally switch off and take a break for 5 minutes, thrice a day. This helps because it allows you to refresh yourself so that you are performing at your best.
Owner of PCR Accounting & Advisory, Peter Marmara-Stewart is a top-tier accountant and financial advisor dedicated to helping clients reach their business goals and achieve financial freedom. Peter is highly regarded for his client-focused approach and entrepreneurial spirit, catering to a diverse range of professionals across a wide scope of industries all across the country. Peter’s expertise can help you plan effectively, set goals, maximise profits and protect your assets. Get in touch today on (03) 9847 7516.