Break the Cycle of Responsiveness

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Once you answer an email at midnight, or take a call on your vacation, you’ve set the expectation that you’re always “on.” Your team will keep asking things of you, and you’ll likely continue to accommodate them. That is, until you break the cycle. Here’s how:

  • Join forces. Talk to those with whom you interact most frequently and agree on times when you’ll all be offline and unavailable. Maybe it’s an evening off, an email blackout over the weekend, or uninterrupted work times during the day.
  • Experience the joy of turning off. Pay attention to what it feels like to be offline. It may be hard at first but you’ll enjoy the benefits of relaxation and increased focus soon enough.
  • Talk about it. Regularly ask your team how it’s going: Do you need to make adjustments to the offline schedule or agreements?

Adapted from “Are You Sleeping with Your Smartphone?” by Leslie A. Perlow.

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