As this is Mental Health Awareness Week it’s a good time to reflect on how we’re feeling, what makes us stressed, and do we ever actually switch off, especially from work.
I originally designed Another Number to support me switching off after work hours and during family holidays. I was always guilty of answering texts and emails from customers late at night or during a school pick up, or if I didn’t I felt agitated or guilty that I may be letting them down.
I didn’t and still don’t see the point in purchasing a second mobile phone as with a bit of clever software, my one ‘smart’ phone can manage more than one mobile number at a time, plus purchasing a second phone is environmentally wasteful. Serendipitously I also discovered friends of mine loathed the smartphones purchased by their IT Manager locked them away in a drawer and still used their personal mobiles for work and as a result, they very rarely switched off too.
A few years ago, I heard Julia Hobsbawm OBE, author of Fully Connected speak at an event run by the Evening Standard. She challenges us to think about why we don’t address our constant connectivity – “infobesity, network gridlock and email overload” as she calls it, in the same way that we would address problems with diet, lack of sleep, the need for exercise.
Fortunately, I addressed my behaviour which has become different. I continue to work a little in the evening but that’s because I enjoy it and have made it fit in around my family life rather than interrupt it. What is really different though is that when I decide to switch off, I really do try, so that I am fully engaged in what I am doing, even if that is simply doing nothing.
Note I said ‘try’, because it is not easy, whilst with Another Number I can switch off my business calls and texts professionally I still let Slack and Email can occasionally scupper my switch off goals.
If you find it hard to switch off and find yourself a slave to work on your mobile, then you can make small changes to resolve this. You can even use your mobile in a positive way with mindfulness and relaxation apps like HeadSpace, Sanvello and Chillax. If you’re unsure about how mindfulness can help then there is a good guide here at Nestmaven.
With Another Number we offer a second number for work on your iPhone and Android so that you can separate your work and personal life.