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The importance of 'switching off' - spend more time in the garden

The importance of 'switching off' - spend more time in the garden

My latest role has meant working from home more often than not - something not uncommon to those of us in tech. My team is based all around the country, so finding a place to work together has been difficult - even though we meet every month or so. Although we are used to it now and we do remain hugely productive, being at home for both work and personal time has come at a cost.

My morning mostly consists of getting the kids ready for school, the dog walked and getting my first caffeine hit. Once all this is done and dusted, it is the very short and well-trodden path to my home office. I reappear in the kitchen around 4 hours later for something to eat and then return for the next 4-5 hours (or more) for the last part of my working day.

This is where the problem begins, my laptop doesn’t actually get switched off until about 9pm or 10pm. This means that any planned task that didn’t quite get done during my actual working hours tends to get partially done as I fleet in and out of the office in the remainder of my evenings. Often finding a few minutes during ad breaks on TV or half-time during football, has been a really difficult habit to shake.

The cost of this is burning out and losing productivity. My mind never really wanders far from the list of tasks I have written down all day on Post-Its on my desk.

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Recently, I have been trying really hard to be more disciplined - switching my laptop off at 5pm-6pm and creating space in my calendar for the next day to tackle specific tasks. Another tactic I have been doing is trying to do one thing ‘well’ at a time, rather than multiple tasks at one time to a ‘just-enough’ standard. Quite often this will mean prioritising my task list instead of all having equal importance or urgency.

All these small and obvious tweaks to my day have surprisingly made me feel far more efficient and productive than I have done previously.

The added bonus is that I have been able to spend a little bit more time in the garden now the days are becoming longer.

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About the author!

Jay Heal

Jay Heal

Director, User Experience Consultant, Service Designer, Design Speaker, Technical Writer, Father, Husband, Brother, Son, Home Barista, Foodie.

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