Want to Have a Great Work Week Next Week? Turn Off The Notifications and Enjoy the Weekend!

Hello y’all and Happy Friday. Not just a great day as it indicates the end of the week and soon, the beginning of the weekend. For many folks, here in the United States, it is a three day weekend as we celebrate the Fourth of July.

For Dawn and myself, as the weather appears to be amazing, we will be getting out in the kayaks and taking in some bike riding as well. I am sure it will be filled with great food grilled here in Thompsonville, along with some tasty libations.

I have kept several articles that are relative to work, play, or both. Today I want to help all of us enjoy some time off and the advantages to turning off the distractions and staying engaged in activities that have nothing to do with work.

There is growing research in the area of burn out, both for employees and managers. Interesting that there is a differentiation, given that both groups are technically employees? Anyway, I digress. In reviewing one particular article from Harvard Business Review, they discuss how research shows people who take vacation are more likely to receive raises and promotions. The research is very interesting and too in depth for right now.

Now, most of us regular folks and especially those with limited time off from work, view a nice three day weekend as a mini-vacation. I know that Dawn and I do, and therefore think this vacation research is very relevant to long weekends.

One of the authors in the article states that “when the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31%, sales increase by 37%, and creativity and revenues can triple”. To be truly engaged at work, in life, at the grocery store, at our kids soccer games, or gymnastics, our brains need to take a break. Folks, this does not just apply to those nine to fivers. I remember when Dawn and I were raising all three of our kids, the level of communication, teamwork, and patience is very demanding.

Especially patience. HAHA.

And I am speaking of a time when there was not this immediate access to all parties via text or phone call.

Here’s is the sad reality for so many. One of my side gigs is selling real estate. The number of times that I have spoken to a Realtor that have been with their kids at the beach, amusement park, or any other extra curricular activity is not unusual. There are times you need to be available. I get that. What is sad is that, to a person, they stated that they had spent more time on their phones working than spending time with their kids and family. This is very common and not just for work related instances. This is why we are burnt out. We constantly permit ourselves to be inundated with distraction. And we have no one to blame but ourselves for this mess.

Turn Off and Tune In

Several months ago I had had enough and I turned off my email notifications to my phone. My plan was for one month to see how it went. It was tough at first, always wondering if I missed that one important email. I selected times of the day that I would check on my device if needed. I tried to only view emails on my laptop. It has been months and it is wonderful. I have not missed one important email. I do check my emails with intent when I am mobile and waiting for an important communication. Folks, once you find your comfort level, you will wonder why you did not do this sooner. For me, I have also turned off notifications for all social media and choose times to go there also with intent. I have not missed one important moment.

Here is my request for you this weekend, turn off just one thing and set limits to who you will and will not immediately respond to. Folks, if you do not have to take the call, that is what voicemail is for. I have members of my family and professionals that rely on communication and email. They have taken my advice and have thanked me for it. Perhaps you just do not want those emails to pile up over the weekend, I get that. But is that not what work is for? And managers, let’s set the tone by encouraging our team to not work and answer those emails.

Folks please, this is a great weekend to get out with your family and enjoy the moments. Go out for a walk by yourself or significant other, without your phone in hand, and enjoy being present in what you are doing. These are your moments and not every moment needs to be shared for all the world to see. They are for you and your family to enjoy. Take your pictures and short videos. It is important to capture moments and save them. I am not suggesting that you don’t. Just take the picture and put the phone back down. Oh, and leave that smart watch on silent too. Thought you were going to get around this by using your watch, did ya?

If you are walking through the park with your family, and you are checking on everyone else’s life, are you not missing out on your own?

Resist the urge to answer that email because you are standing in line with your kids and you have time. No you don’t have time. The email and post that you are so programmed to check will still be there. That amazing moment of your kids, swinging on the railings and teasing each other will not.

That sand castle the kids are building could use your help, parents and grandparents.

I encourage you to let your time away feed your brain with healthy, ever lasting memories. When you get back to work on Tuesday, you will not only feel more refreshed, you will have actual stories to tell others that they did not already see and comment on. Oh, and those emails will still be there.

Last year, I auto drafted my fantasy football while on the Cumberland River with Dawn. That is the photo above. Never checked my status. Did not care. I was teased and made fun of by others in the league. For some that is important. But for me, the importance was to be with my amazing wife and all the Cumberland had to show us that day. Other than a couple of photos, my phone was down and silenced for the two plus hours we paddled. The water was still, the air was amazing. It was quiet. I did have times on that trip that I had to take calls or answer emails, but I tried to have control over those moments.

By the way, I finished third in my fantasy league last year.

Happy Weekend Everyone and enjoy being unplugged from the world and being plugged into you.

May you be happy, healthy, and safe on your mini-vacation.


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