http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/daily-prompt-unplugged/

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

WorkLife-Balance-The-Cost-of-Always-Being-On

Smartphones. The bane of my existence. I wanted one for so long–everyone was getting them–it was the keeping up with the Jones’ feeling. I get one. I’m so excited about being able to check my email on the go, to look at Facebook, and to play games when I’m bored. It doesn’t seem that bad at first. I mean, sure every time I download a new game I’m a little obsessed for a while because it’s the shiny new game. But that wears off after a while.

And then I add my work email to the phone. And suddenly I’m checking my email every few minutes. I’m answering work emails when I’m not at work. Work gets busy to the point where I’m coming in early and staying late. And yet even when I’m not at work I feel the compulsion to constantly be checking my email. Watching TV, eating dinner, riding in the car, grocery shopping–doesn’t matter what else I’m doing I have to check my work email. I’m checking it before I go to bed and first thing when I wake up. I’m having dinner with my husband and all I can think about is–oh look, I got a notification that I have an email I should check that.

So I turn off the notifications for my work email. I don’t need to be checking it constantly. I don’t work in an environment where if I miss an email during my time off that the world will come to a screeching halt. No matter how important it may be to my bosses I have to draw that line. All though turning off the notifications hasn’t really helped. I still compulsively check it. I read articles that say to not look at your phone an hour (or more) before bed–it effects your sleep patterns. And still the last thing I do before turning off the light is check my email…or play out all my lives on Candy Crush.

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Just recently I’ve started on the weekends getting up and leaving my phone in the bedroom charging. I force myself to NOT check my email, to not play Candy Crush. Granted that sometimes pushes me to my computer to check these things but on my computer I’m much less likely to sign into my work email to check it. And I’m more likely to pull up WordPress or even the novel I’ve been working on for years and get to writing.

Work/Life balance is not easy. Smartphones and the constant advancing technology doesn’t help make finding that balance any easier–in fact it makes it twice as hard. Your bosses just assume, well you have a smartphone, you have a tablet, you have a laptop, you can work anywhere, anytime. Work comes first in their eyes. But when I take a step back I realize it doesn’t come first. I don’t want to be checking work email and stressing out over work. I want to be spending time with my husband, my friends, my family. I want to be writing. I want to be reading. I want to be working out, getting healthy. I want to be starting a family of my own. None of that is getting done if I’m sitting staring at my phone screen. 

 

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