I’m coming to the conclusion that I may need to cut way back on my non-work time online, largely because as soon as I’m plugged in I’m connected to work. Now I really like my job, but never disconnecting from work-brain is unhealthy and I need to make sure I can at least switch off from work evenings and weekends for stress levels.
My problem: the only time I’ve ever had a job that I could leave work at work was temporary jobs that were mostly manual labor. Everything else has been an always-on always-connected kind of thing by nature (not by mean bosses, it’s just that’s the nature of academia, teaching, and other jobs where you do a lot of mental work, have some flexible hours, and work from home often). And when I moved to a new country and started postgrad, I left most of my hobby and activity networks behind and didn’t have the time/money/transportation to try to join in my new home. When it comes to the fun stuff I do and communities I’m part of online, I don’t have a good way to make sure don’t switch into work-mode and click on the still-open tab because I thought of something and that bit of work isn’t finished/perfect. As much as I love things like twitter, my twitter engagement is half work-related. I just got a really interesting message from a colleague pointing out some interesting research that I clicked on and started reading. Which is great, but . . . yeah. Not switching off on the weekend.
What are some things you do to make sure you have a healthy amount of off-line activity? What techniques do you have to set up boundaries and unplug?
I plan to get back into yoga, and I’m looking into joining some outdoors activities clubs for the sake of being out in nature. I’m thinking maybe I should try picking up the guitar again. (Knitting / crochet are out, because I get wrist pain really quickly. Meditation ain’t happening.)