When you got out of the shower today, did you check your phone? How about this past weekend, did you respond to a work email, or return a phone call? I did. You could say that I am addicted to work. I can’t shut it off.
When one of my clients gets media exposure, I get a high…it’s an adrenaline rush. It goes back to when I was a news reporter. I LOVED covering breaking news. Send me to the shooting, fire, hurricane…the more dangerous, the better. If I had the opportunity to cover the war, I would have been there. I tend to think this makes me a better publicist. I am hungry and driven. PR is not a 9-5 job. Owning a business is not a Monday-Friday gig, and I’m okay with that, but sometimes work needs to have an “off” button.
So, as I admit my flaws to the whole world, I’ll share with you how I’ve entered my own “workaholic rehab.”
Get Out of Bed
Set your alarm 2 hours before you need to start your daily routine. Grab a cup of coffee and go! Write a blog, check your emails, write you to do list, work on a proposal. This will allow you to get a head start before your computer blows up from work emails.
Make a List
Create two lists: an overall project list (everything that you have going on) and then make a “today” list. This is for what you want to accomplish today. Don’t make it too long or you’ll get overwhelmed. Also, begin your day by tackling the one project that you keep putting off. Get it done and over with while your fresh and energized.
Work when you’re at work. Don’t shop online or text your friends. Be 100% focused on work. You’ll be amazed what you get done when you don’t get sidetracked.
Chill on the Email
When I read about how to be more efficient, experts say that one of the best things to do is to only check my email a couple of times a day. This is hard for me…real hard. Think about it. You’re in the middle of project and you hear “ding.” It’s a new email. Who’s it from? What do they want?
Here’s what’s working for me. I do end up checking that email that comes through. But, if it’s not urgent, I star the email so it reminds me that I have to respond to it later.
Take a Lunch
I know, we don’t have time to “punch out” and take a break. But you must do this. Eat a healthy lunch, call your mom, check Instagram, or take a walk. Even if it’s just a half hour. Your mind and body will thank you.
Set a Time to Stop
Set a time that you are going to be done. No excuses. Can you check your email when you’re home? Yes, but do you need to stop eating dinner with your family to respond to it or can it wait? Most likely it can wait. Just know that you can do it later. Be in the moment with your family and friends. Technology is great for us to work, but it can kill your social life, friendships and relationships.
As I try to take my own advice, I’ll leave you with this. Remind yourself that your friends and family comes first. What do you want them to remember you as? A husband, mother, wife or dad who was always working? Or someone who listened to them, played with them, and ate dinner with them? You can’t always be there, but when you are… be present in the moment.
I would love to hear on how you shut work off? Please share your tips!