Most weeks I work 40 hours Mon-Fri. There are occasional anomalies where I find myself working a weekend for an event, but for the most part there are fixed hours each day where I am punched in.
Years ago during the emergence of smartphones, I was thrilled with the prospect of being able to receive work emails and send an immediate reply. It was amazing! My inbox was always empty. I felt on top of the world. I was the master of my email domain and on the front edge of workplace efficiency.
Slowly work followed me. I was checking email wherever and whenever I was and much of it was happening after hours. Fast forward a year or so later and I found myself being annoyed by the same notification that thrilled me before, and usually my frustration was unfairly directed toward the sender.
There came a moment when I realized I was a slave to the email notification. I was Pavlov’s dog. It made me feel overwhelmed and overworked, and it stole the joy my job once had. It was then I decided to do the unthinkable. I turned off every possible work email notification. I turned off pop-ups, badges, sounds, numbers and alerts. I’m no longer driven by impulse to respond to the notification.
My life was changed. It sounds dramatic, but it really helped rebuild the fallen boundaries between work and home. It came at important time in my life as I want to be “present” at home with my wife and two boys.
Do you get work emails on your phone? Do you have a work productivity app on it? Turn off the notifications and be free from work off-hours. It takes under a minute, but it will change your year. You’ll never look back.