Hitting the “Off” Switch

We know how hectic the day-to-day schedule of a business owner can be. Between all the meetings, calls and unexpected surprises, things in the office can get a little crazy. That’s why we stress the importance and value of “unplugging” at the end of the workday.

With iPhones constantly buzzing and e-mails overcrowding your inbox, it’s hard to fight the temptation to not respond. In reality, technology is beginning to take over more and more, so the idea of unplugging from all forms of social technology sounds almost unbearable. This is why it’s so important to hit the off switch from time to time to make unplugging part of your daily routine.

As a business owner, you should encourage your employees to find a healthy balance between work and personal time after hours. It may be difficult to go cold turkey at first, but here are a few tips on easing that transition: 

Clean out your inbox

Email has quickly become the preferred method of communication for most businesses. Sure, it might make communicating a little easier, but as the CEO or owner of a company, you’re most likely CC’d on almost all emails. Those messages pile up and before you know it, you have dozens (if not hundreds) of unread emails. So maybe your phone isn’t ringing off the hook as much as it used to, but now your inbox is becoming so full that it can be overwhelming. Don’t stress! Try to set aside 1-2 days per week for you to spend some time cleaning out your inbox.  If something urgent comes up or if you have to respond to emails or phone calls after hours, be sure to monitor your time so you don’t get fully plugged in again.

Use your phone as a phone, not as an alert system

With today’s smart phones, it’s easy to read and send emails or update meeting calendars straight from your phone. So even if you do decide to unplug from your laptop or work computer, you’re still receiving tons of messages from that handy little smart phone, making it almost impossible to fully disconnect. How can you fix this? Check to see if your phone has a “do not disturb” setting – this option will silence all calls and alerts while activated. You can also manage your notification preferences in your settings. That way, you can still get all emails and notifications sent to your phone, but you are free to check them whenever you want, minus the annoying alert.

Log out of social media and login to the present

Disconnecting from Facebook and Twitter can sound like a nightmare to many. But what you may not realize is how much time you’re actually spending scrolling through the Twitter feeds or reading those Facebook statuses. By being a social (media) butterfly, you think you’re connecting with others, but you’re really disconnecting from the present. It’s okay to check in to restaurants and post pictures from time to time, but it’s really important that you remember to live in the now! Check your notification settings to ensure that you’re not being notified for every little thing. The less alerts you receive in one day, the better!

Unplugging from technology can ultimately help you strengthen your relationships with family, friends, clients or employees. Focus on having face time with those around you and stop getting distracted by all the gadgets beeping and buzzing in your pocket. At Far West Capital, we encourage our employees to unplug after hours and stress the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. After all, we wouldn’t be able to fully immerse ourselves in our business and clients if we didn’t take the time to unwind and disconnect. Stepping away from technology will not only be beneficial for your personal health, but there’s also the added benefit for your business and workplace. Employees who get in the habit of unplugging are better rested, less stressed and more focused on creating new ideas for your business. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to unplug and start living in the now.

Did you know there’s even a National Day of Unplugging? Learn more in our previous blog post, Getting Plugged In To Being Unplugged.

What are your tips for unplugging after work hours?

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