In the faculty/administration world, you stay “on” all of the time. Digital devices are rarely turned off, our brains stay somewhat connected to work at all times, and we find little distance from the working world.
Because of this, and the fact that I am working a LOT of hours and most weekends, Spouse and I implemented Digitally Down Days and Digitally Down Zones. I prefer to stay at the office and get work done there so I can come home, power (mostly) down, and feel that home is a stress free zone. There are times, usually after lots of conference travel or tons of huge projects/events at the office, where I find myself slowly powering down: my productivity lessens, my focus is sporadic, and I start to have low-quality sleep.
An easy solution has been to implement a Digitally Down Day. This is an ENTIRE day where I do not check email, voice mail, texts, or Blackboard. I avoid all things digital. Now, realistically, I can’t do this every week but I can easily do this every now and again. It just takes some boundary setting and then ruthless boundary protection – something I have to seek assistance in or I will simply never do it.
I try to have a DDD each month and, though hard, I protect it aggressively. I also work to have my home remain a relaxing place – so you might see me in my office on campus throughout the weekend or during late hours, but I can truly shut down once I arrive home.
These are small things that make a big difference in my world. What works well for you?
Author of article – Lora Helvie-Mason