Friday, April 19, 2019

My Unplugged Policy

Back in my early days of working, I remember getting stressed out a lot because of calls from work during days off or after work hours. I used to take pride in the fact that I worked harder than most but after a while, I realized that things just got a little too far. People began to take for granted that they can call me anytime they need anything, even if I am sick. It was only after a friend advised me to stop taking calls outside of work hours that I started to value my time away from work and gave myself a little peace of mind. 

I was supposed to have a separate phone for work until I realized that all I had to do was put my phone on airplane mode. I’ve been doing that daily. Right after I get off work, I turn on airplane mode and I turn it off in the morning. I also put my phone on airplane mode on weekends and keep myself offline (or at the very least, invisible) from online-based messaging apps during my free time. Having this quiet time has been good for me, especially since I get stressed easily.  Since I am often just at home during my free time, this has not been a problem. I only turn off airplane mode during my free time when it is absolutely necessary, which hasn't happened that much.

Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

My policy now is that if someone needs to reach me and it is really important and cannot wait until the next workday, I believe there are other ways that they can get in touch with me and they will make an effort to do so. This way I cannot be pressured to do something because they would not be able to reach me right away. Most of the time I’ve discovered that these things can wait anyway. I know it sounds a bit extra, but it’s something I’ve needed to do for this past decade for my own sanity. 

Some people I work with have commented about my unplugged policy – some are surprised that I can survive that way. Some have even wondered if I am just avoiding people by keeping myself unplugged at certain periods. For me, going offline and being unplugged at certain hours of the day is a form of self-love. It’s something I desperately need to lay off the stress from work and it gives me time to focus on other important things in my life (specifically, the things and people that make me happy). Some might say that it could affect my quality of work but I don’t care. I need to do it this way if I want to stay sane in the middle of all the work and personal responsibilities I have. Going unplugged is an important way that I feel I can take care of myself and at this point in my life, I will always make that a priority.

With stress being a big factor in a person’s mental AND physical health, we all must pay attention to what triggers it for us and how we can properly manage that. Going unplugged is my way of doing that. It gives me room to breathe and pay more attention to what I need and want during the time I have allotted for myself. I can’t recommend it to everyone, but this definitely works for me. 

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