“In large part, it’s because we’re surrounded by devices that are designed to grab our attention and make everything feel urgent.” Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psycologist.
Put away your digital devices
Before the Blackberry era, leaving your work at the office was the default. “If you wanted to take work home with you, that required effort and planning,” says Friedman. That’s no longer the case. “Today we’re all carrying around an office in our pocket in the form of a smartphone,” so we’re both psychologically and physiologically still attached.
Instead of concentrating on limiting or avoiding work in your off-hours, Friedman recommends scheduling “restorative experiences that you look forward to.” Making plans to play tennis with a friend or cook a meal with your spouse compels you to “focus on an approach goal — doing something pleasurable — instead of anavoidance goal — not checking email,” he says.
Principles to Remember
- Set boundaries around your use of digital devices during off-hours
- Incorporate regular breaks into your workday
- Focus on why the work matters to you if professional obligations preclude a vacation
- Check your email when you’re taking a vacation or long weekend
- Spend all your downtime vegging; engage in activities that challenge and interest you
- Mistake constant fatigue and apathy for a temporary case of burnout; if you feel ineffective on a daily basis, it might be time to look for a new job
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