I am trying to create more borders. In today’s world, laptops, smartphones, email, Slack, and text make it so easy to merge our work lives and off-duty lives. It really requires discipline to wall off portions of my life from the pressure of being online, on email, on Slack, and on social media. I can’t say I’m doing great, but here are things I’m trying:
- Check email only once or twice a day. Importantly, setting expectations by putting a footer on each email, “Text if urgent – I aspire to check email once a weekday.”
- Do a shut down process at the end of my work day where I assess what went well and what is high priority for the next day.
- Setting a timer when I engage in social media and other fun diversions.
- Establish a day during the weekend when I avoid email and being online.
I find my life is more creative and focused when I create time away from the computer. It opens up space for fun, family, & friends.
I think I can also make the case that it makes me more productive and focused. Obviously, it reduces the total time I spend “working” but the real question is what kind of work. With this approach, I end up doing more deep work.