It can be hard to switch off after hours. Back before computers and mobile devices were invented, when you left the office – you left the office. Now, it’s not that easy. With mobiles, tablet devices and laptops by our side 24/7, so too is the office. We can send emails on the train, access work files from home and can still be working on a report whilst tucked up in bed. In essence, we never really leave the office and it’s affecting our work:life balance.
With this in mind, here are our top tips for switching off and maximising your downtime:
- Don’t leave important tasks unfinished. It’s always worth staying that extra 20 minutes at work rather than fretting about something all night.
- You can’t do everything yourself so delegate tasks to your PA or colleagues. Spreading the workload not only frees up your time and workload but increases your company’s productivity.
- As you reach the end of the day, if you are still waiting for a reply to an email, follow it up with a phone call. The recipient may have overlooked your message, been busy or out the office. In the meantime, their colleague might be able to help you… either way, you won’t be left hanging.
- If it’s essential that you pick up an important email after hours then set an alert on your phone or tablet. This ensures you receive the message, without having to check your inbox every 5 minutes.
- If it’s not important then don’t sweat it – it can wait until morning. Why lose sleep over the stationery order or presentation (that’s not due for another 3 weeks)?
- You’re not at your sharpest at 9pm so don’t write a proposal or send that all-important email to a client. The quality of your work will be below standard and it’s likely you’ll make mistakes.
We know it can be hard to detach from work and sometimes working late is mandatory. Our advice? Keep it to a minimum. Switching off is important, not only for your personal life but also professionally. Giving your brain a much needed rest will benefit your productivity and efficiency during the day.