One Simple Trick to Help Keep You from Working When You Shouldn't

One of the downsides to 21st century technology and culture is the way in which work becomes an ever-present part of our lives. Laptops and tablets and smart phones make it easier than ever to do work from home and respond to late-night emails.

Some people are making it a New Year's resolution to make sure they work less when they aren't supposed to be at work, or better yet, not at all. 

One of the best tricks I've found for doing just that is as simple as adjusting a setting on your phone. Go into your work email app on your phone and change the settings to where you have to manually check your email.

It sounds simple, but it works wonders. 

My first smartphone was a Blackberry, and it either didn't have, or I couldn't find, a feature to keep it from checking email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The little flashing red light was always so tempting. I was as guilty as anyone at responding to emails late at night. I remember responding to a client once at what was supposed to be a fun outing at the zoo. 

The sad thing was I knew I shouldn't be responding. I knew that it could wait. Knowing that someone, especially a client or boss, wants a response from you is hard to ignore, however. For some of us, once you see an action that needs taken, it feels better to just do it right away, even to the detriment of your family and social life. 

So I just don't let my phone check my email for me. If I check email after work due to circumstances, it's my choice. If I choose not to see an email after 5pm on Friday until Monday morning, that's my choice, too. The point is I decide, not the technology.

That simple trick has done wonders to keep me from working when I shouldn't be working. If it's a resolution of yours to do the same, it won't do you wrong. 

Now if I could only figure out how to turn off my Facebook notifications.

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