Nowadays, everything is so ON! At work, people can connect with us via phone (landline and cell), fax, email, text, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Skype… The list is endless!
And when we do get home with the work cell and laptop in tow, we have to fight the urge to do a “quick” check-in while eating dinner or giving the little ones their baths.
Unfortunately, being fractured like that doesn’t do anyone any favors. Children and significant others can feel slighted because we are still somewhat in work mode, and any work we try to do may be compromised because we can’t fully focus on it.
So don’t do the crazy juggling act. Pull the plug.
I know what you may be thinking: “What if there’s a problem at work and I’m needed?” or “But I’m waiting on correspondence from an important client!”
If you hold a position that does require you to attend to work in the evening, you can still pull the plug, but in a strategic way:
- Delegate. If your company’s operations continue after you leave the building, be sure to identify and train one or two people on your team who are key individuals for handling routine problems that may come up. Define critical situations in which they can contact you, but overall, these folks should make it possible for you to have some quiet nights with the family.
- Have a back-up. In addition to the team members who will handle the everyday issues, you should also have a peer who is able to do the heavy lifting in case you are not available. Because runs to the ER and other family emergencies are never expected, not to mention the fact that you do deserve a vacation now and again, it’s important for you and for the well-being of the company to have that additional layer of support.
- Schedule your time. This is especially necessary if both you and your partner have demanding jobs. Implementing a schedule for the time after work will remove that chaotic feel of trying to figure out on the fly who will cook dinner, who takes the kids to their activities, and whose turn it is to be the homework helper. When you know in advance what your schedule will be for the evening, you can take steps during the work day to allow yourself to be unplugged (at least some of the time) and fully focused on your family.
What other measures do you take to be able to pull the plug at home?