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Balance Work and Life By Avoiding Work Messages After Hours

Woman checking her work email after hours.
fizkes/Shutterstock

Need a New Year’s resolution that doesn’t involve avoiding delicious food? How about focusing on a better work-life balance? One easy thing you can do is stop checking work messages after hours. Leave work at work.

It’s not always easy to avoid work when you’re off the clock. It’s an even more difficult task if you work from home or run your own business. Difficult, but not impossible.

While you could just tell yourself you’re not going to sign into Slack or check your work email, so many of us have all of these apps on our personal phones. If you don’t have a work-specific phone, it might be a little harder to avoid notifications.

How to Stop Checking Your Work Messages After Work

It’s not as hard as you think. Here are some simple tips to help you leave work at work (even if you work from home):

  • Mute those notifications: Just turn off the notifications to those apps. Here’s how to do so in Android and on your iPhone. You don’t have to mute all of your notifications, in case you still want to know what’s going on with Facebook and Twitter. If you use the same phone both for work and personal use, consider giving work calls a different ringtone, so you can avoid them!
  • Keep emails separated: If you’re your own boss, make sure you have a separate work email from your personal email. You might not be able to turn off notification to one and not the other if they’re through the same email provider, but you can choose not to open your work emails until you’re on the clock again.
  • Establish work hours: Even those of us working from home need to set work boundaries. When you have a job that gives you a set schedule, it can sometimes be easier to leave your work behind when you punch out and step out of the office. When your home is your office, it’s different.

On your home computer, just stay out of work-related places, from email to Slack. Learn to “let it wait.” Work shouldn’t rule your life, and by leaving work at work, you can perhaps reduce some of the stress in your life.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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