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Can you switch off?

By 9th August 2021 No Comments

It’s tough. Especially if you are self-employed or in charge of a business. We get it. Apparently, 64% of us check in with work while we’re on annual leave. That figure is likely to be higher for those working for themselves.

But sometimes you really do need to disengage from emails, Zoom, social media or whatever else is tying you to work.

I recently took a week off work on the stunning island of Mull and oh my goodness, I feel the better for it. I was then away the following week on the Cowal Peninsula and, having had a week off just beforehand, couldn’t afford the time to switch off from work entirely. Instead, I worked under a hybrid model and changed my Out of Office accordingly. I spent time with my family during 9-5 and wasn’t available for calls or Zoom, but I did then work in the evenings so that I could catch up on work and make sure that client work was being done. It worked really well and I am definitely planning to do it again.

The other challenge I have is during the school holidays. Remembering the long weeks my brother and I spent with our mum (whilst my dad was at work) during the school holidays I was reluctant to put my own children into a back-to-back holiday club.  At the same time, I am determined to demonstrate to both my girls that mums have careers too and so spending all holiday with them wasn’t an option either! So, during the holidays, we juggle, and I work a lot of evenings. It’s not perfect, and next year I think I can improve it, but it’s a start!

Other tips I’ve read lately which help you to switch off could be helpful too:

  • Try to have a separate phone for work and one for pleasure so that you can at least put one of them down.
  • Plan – make sure that urgent things are done and, just as importantly, that you have arranged for someone to do any urgent tasks while you are away.
  • Always put your Out of Office on, even if you are enjoying a staycation.  This help to set the expectations of others and also means you don’t feel guilty for not checking emails often enough.
  • Remember that there is nothing in an email that will be so important it can’t wait. If it is that important, the person will call you or find another way to reach you.

How have you been getting on with the work/life juggle this summer?  Email me your tips and we’ll share them on social media.

Meantime, enjoy the last couple of weeks of the school holidays – whether you’re relishing them or counting the days!

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