No, I don’t mean permanently! However, a big part of being able to stay stress free is to closely analyze your activities and your way of getting things done, and determine if, from time to time, you can tweak those activities, those habits, to sneak in some time that’s all yours.
If you’re a heavily wired in person (smart phone, tablet, laptop at work, home, you get the picture), consider taking just 10 minutes a day and step out of the wired…er, wireless world.
Get away from all the devices that were built to keep us in touch with the world, but have become goads. All these smart devices can become triggers for guilt.
Yes, triggers for guilt! A colleague of mine works from home, and it affords him a good living. It seems to be the ideal world. He can work in his pajamas, take strolls around his garden (with the tablet, iPhone, or iPad in hand), and have the good life.
The problem is, when your workplace is your home, you never really escape the reminders that there’s always work to do. Even when everything is caught up, nothing has to be turned in the next day, he’s quite clear that he feels like he should be working.
How exactly does one “leave work at work” when the home and the workplace are one?
My colleague does it by having one comfy room in his home that lacks electronics. No TV, no computers, no phones. Wisely, this room is his bedroom.
Studies show that when we work in the bedroom, getting restful sleep becomes more difficult, and why is that at all hard to believe? It’d be like sleeping in your office at work. Every hour or two he takes a break to relax in a chair inside his “shelter” and read, or meditate or relax.
How long should your breaks be? It depends on your stress levels. If being constantly available, constantly “on call” is increasing your feelings of anxiety and being pressured, start experimenting with the 10 minute break range.
Unless you’re in a life-or-death situation, or you’re literally an on call physician, I bet you’ll be able to take those critical ten minutes out and un-hook from the myriad array of electronic devices that not only can connect us to the wider world….they can strangle us, just as easily.
We should never forget—we’re in charge of our lives. Not the devices, not our jobs, nothing external to us. Remember that as you continue practicing and exploring healthy stress management!