Between all of my social media accounts, personal email, professional email and text messages, it feels like my phone never stops buzzing.
When I know what’s going on in my inbox and social media, I feel more prepared to get back to it the next day especially if the next day is Monday. It took me some time to figure out, but staying connected at all times isn’t the best approach for a healthy work-life balance. As someone who can’t function when there’s a little red missed message icon, it’s best to step away from the work email and take some time for myself.
Turn Off Email Notifications
The world keeps turning after I walk away from my desk, especially for small business owners who often get to my emails after regular business hours. Although my desire to know what’s going on at all times is hard to ignore, the truth is that those emails will be there when I get back in the morning. Often, emails sent after hours aren’t as time sensitive, no harm in waiting until the morning to read and respond thoughtfully.
Multitasking, even just writing an email while talking on the phone, significantly decreases retention of information. A recent study suggests that doing two things at once fuels the inability to concentrate, organize and pay attention to small detail. Responding to every email throughout the day, the moment it arrives is the best way for me to lose track of the task at hand. Instead of notifications disrupting my work, I carve out time to check back, respond and manage tasks.
Turn off Social Media Notifications
Okay, I have to fess up, I still haven’t completely mastered this one. Through the week, especially for Twitter, I need to know what’s going on through the day and early evening. I hate coming back to a business Twitter account to find that someone reached out and I missed the time frame for a reasonable response. So I check in frequently, but still don’t let every like, reply or retweet interrupt my day.
Leave the Work at Work
Weekends are mine. Detaching from clients’ social media accounts helps me remember the type of content that I find appealing, which in turn helps me create better, more relatable content for my clients. Stepping too far into the world of social media marketing often makes me forget about social media from the point of view of the audience and what I want to see as a person, not as a business.
When the end of the day is closing in and motivation is gone, it’s tempting to pack up my work bag and do a few hours from home. This isn’t always a bad strategy; I can get a lot done from home when I set my mind to it. But deferring tasks to when I get home after a long day typically leads to a stressful evening of battling the urge to change into my pajamas and flop down on the couch. Unless I have a full day of work scheduled to do at home, it’s best to leave the work at work. Time at home at the end of the day is for relaxing and preparing for the next day.
I know it’s not easy to shut down and leave things to happen as they will. I have found that stepping back and taking time away from the emails and social media notifications is the best way for me to come back refreshed. I wouldn’t recommend stepping away from email or social for too long, but a healthy balance between the two is the best way for me to stay informed and make time for myself.
What should you share on social media? Lorraine and I chatted about that a few weeks ago. Listen to a few of our suggestions on the type of content you should be sharing.
Roundpeg is an Indianapolis content marketing firm.