The idyllic and harmonious relationship between our professional and personal lives is becoming harder to juggle as they become more intertwined. The majority of us practically live online now for our jobs. It’s no longer as simple as leaving the office or having a completely separate phone. Everything is now linked whether it’s intentional or not.
Here at Kindaba, as a technology company, we are always on our phones testing our new app, chatting to customers and keeping up to date with social. We know how hard it can be to fully switch off from work. To help you out, we’ve come up with some top tips to help you separate work from the rest of your life, both offline and online.
1. Schedule ‘me-time’
We spend a lot of time organising when and what to do at work, filling every hour with a task — you should see my Google calendar! A top tip from Kindaba is to schedule some of this time for you. Whether this be a quick 5 minute walk out of your office, an hour to have a coffee and a chat with a friend or colleague or time for a fitness class. Having regular breaks, a change of scene, and moments for personal use are key to improving your productivity and mental well being. This doesn’t just mean during work hours — plan time to set aside for family, friends or for your hobbies after work.
2. Set start and end times
You think of finishing up your last batch of emails and before you know it, it’s way past dinner time and here you are still in the office. We’ve all been there.This is so easy to do, particularly if you work at home where personal and professional life can easily blur into one. By adding start times, you avoid the temptation to sleep in or fritter away time making that three course breakfast and can create a regular routine as if you were heading to the office every day. Setting an end time means you can avoid working way into the evening as, let’s face it, work is never finished! By creating this definite split between professional and personal time, you only have one specific thing to focus on at one time and your mind isn’t torn between the two.
3. Unplug regularly and interact with people non-digitally
It is very easy to be sucked into your computer for hours on end in a whirlpool of emails and social media (says the person who has spent hours finding the perfect Instagram hashtags). Taking breaks and actually talking to people face to face or even over phone can remind you that there is actually a world outside. Also, the obvious physical benefit is that your eyes get a well deserved break from the glaring screen.
4. Use different networks for different purposes
Where possible keep social media accounts for different purposes. You may keep your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for professional use and have Facebook and Instagram for more personal use. This helps to maintain work life boundaries, avoids distraction, and there isn’t the same risk that you might post something on your professional Facebook that was meant for your personal Facebook.
5. Maintain a filter
Common sense isn’t so common, or so the saying goes. You may have the best privacy settings in the world but the internet is never fully private so it is best practice to be mindful of what you are going to share. If you wouldn’t want your gran (or in this case, your boss) to see it, don’t share it. This is one of the reasons that families love to use Kindaba as a private, safe gathering space just for those who matter most.
While this might be difficult when you love your job or you feel like you won’t get everything done if you slack off, disconnecting is vital to really be your best at work and your best at home. Taking some time away to chill and reflect can really boost your productivity and enthusiasm. A useful way to fully separate work and personal life is to make use of ‘Don’t Disturb’ and notification features. These can be set for certain times or can be turned on or off manually. If your phone contains all your professional and personal accounts, you can turn the notifications off for each at different times so that ‘so and so liked your photo on Instagram’ isn’t bothering you at work and equally a bombardment of work emails aren’t coming through during your family dinner!