Stay Present This Holiday Season – Without Unplugging Completely
‘Tis the season to enjoy quality time with family – but that can be difficult when your office is constantly at your fingertips because of remote work. Although unplugging completely may not always be feasible, there are ways to create boundaries for yourself so that you’re able to enjoy the holiday season with minimal work distractions. Here are our recommendations for enjoying family time to the fullest during the holidays:
Utilize “do not disturb” mode
There’s nothing wrong with turning your work email and phone notifications off during the holidays – especially while you’re relaxing with family. If you’re concerned about missing an important call or email, create an automatic email response informing people to reach out to your personal phone if they need to contact you urgently, or change your work voicemail to point people to your personal cell. This way, you can filter all outreach so that only the most important messages will reach you, and there’s no need to stress about missing something important.
Set your hours in advance
Often times when working from home, it can be difficult to stick to the usual 9 to 5 regime since the office is always accessible. But during the holidays, it’s important to spend as much time with loved ones as possible, so consider setting strict start and end times for yourself, and let your coworkers know ahead of time when you’ll be signing on and off so they know when to refrain from reaching out for non-urgent requests. Although your hours may not end up differing slightly from your goal, it will be easier to step away from work when you have an end goal in mind from the very start of the day.
Ask your family to keep you accountable
No matter how hard you may try, it’s easy to find yourself opening up your email app and quickly slipping back to work mode during offline hours. For this reason, it can be a good idea to ask your family to help hold you accountable if they notice you’re spending too much time on work activities during time that’s reserved for family. This will help you stay aware of your habits, while also giving autonomy to your family members who deserve as much of your attention as possible.
Don’t be afraid to say “no”
Generally, people are more understanding and respectful of vacation time during the holidays – so don’t be afraid to push back on tasks and deadlines if it conflicts with your time off. No matter if it’s a request from a customer, client or boss, there should be no reason to step away from your family time, especially if boundaries and expectations during your time off were set in advance.