As time accelerates our lives to nearly light speed, it can be difficult to manage all of the things we should and should not do, especially with all of the devices at our disposal that keep us connected with our networks around the clock. Here we talk about the top things you need to stop doing now to create a better work-life balance. It involves balancing the scales with your time and technology use. There are some things you may be doing at work that you should stop right now.
Your lunch break is designated to give you not only time to nourish your body, but also a brain break from all of the work that is piled on your desk. One of the simplest but most overlooked solutions to balancing work and personal time is the act of stepping away from your desk for lunch. Use this time to decompress from the morning, recharge, refocus and reenergize for the afternoon.
“A common complaint I hear is about lunch time getting squeezed down to ten minutes, or to nothing at all, with people eating on the fly or eating while hunched over their computers,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker, author and president of Humor at Work.
Many parents see this scene even at the dinner table with kids. Don’t cut corners with your lunch break and during your half hour or hour timeslot refrain from conducting any business, which includes not checking your email. If you have a close friend who is also a colleague that you often grab lunch with, be sure to keep work out of the conversation. Forbes staff writer Jacquelyn Smith suggests a few more activities you can do during your lunch break to refresh before taking on the rest of the workday including:
Are you on email overload? Checking your inbox frequently and reading every message as it arrives could be a major time waster and have a negative effect on your work productivity. Consider closing your email when working on other projects so you won’t be distracted. If you need to keep your electronic communication client open, consider adjusting to the settings to ensure you do not receive notifications every time new messages arrive. Designate specific times to devote to email, for example three times a day, morning, mid-day and at the end of the day to review and respond to work email.
It is important to set limits on your availability regarding incoming and outgoing communications outside of work hours. Set expectations by talking with your supervisor and colleagues to outline reasonable accessibility standards after the work day has ended. Be sure to follow through with sticking to your designated time of unavailability, otherwise you may be letting others take advantage of you by allowing yourself to be discredited. Despite some of our workaholic tendencies, there are actually some proven disadvantages of being connected to work 24/7 including contributing to your burnout at work.
Remember that the simple act of taking your full lunch break plays an important role to your productivity, and although we love technology, it can also hinder us from balancing work and personal time. Use your time efficiently and map out a plan that helps you commit to avoiding these workday mistakes.