Three Ways to Tune in While You Unplug

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

women in business tune in

How can women in business tune and AND unplug? I'll show you!

It’s a challenge for women in business: how do we tune in yet unplug so we can actually get some work done? We’ve spent the past few weeks going through the business investment series. We’ve had a Labor Day weekend to refuel ourselves. But I’ll ask the difficult question: how many of you actually unplugged and refueled?

As women in business, we feel the need to be plugged in..connected…at every twist and turn. Blackberrys, iPhones, email, voicemail – we can’t seem to detach from our information sources. We check our phones on dates or while out to dinner. What happened to the days where when you left the office, you LEFT? While I understand that smart women can’t go off the map (or at least without a little notice to interested parties), I’ll share with your three ways that you can tune in while unplugging. Watch your life bloom and your information stay organized with these tips:

Unplug by…using an RSS reader. Instead of feeling like you have to bop around to every blog or news site you read every day to get the latest, use a tool like Google Reader or FeedReader to organize your favorite reads. This way, you’re reading is one-stop shopping every day. If you prefer email subscriptions (as many of my readers do), set up email filtering rules to put them in a TO READ folder in your inbox. This keeps distractions at a minimum and your information awesomely organized!

Unplug by…having a regular work day. You eat. You have kids. You have a family, You play racquetball. You do other things than work. While the miracle of modern technology lets us respond to anything from the palm of our hands, set rules for when you will and will not return emails. Doing otherwise lets people know you’re always accessible and sets unreasonable expectations. Women in business run businesses – and businesses have hours. One trick I use is saving emails as drafts when responding late the the evening. I then send them the next morning when I respond to a reminder I set for myself on my calendar.

Unplug by…not working weekends. Sometimes projects have demands, but wouldn’t you rather establish your work week so that your weekends are yours 99% of the time? Do this: the next time you want to tell a client you’ll have something to them Monday morning, say Monday afternoon. That gives you an entire day of work to get things done after you enjoy your weekend!

Now, your action task for this week is to try at least TWO of these unplugging techniques, and if you have any more, share them in the comments! And if you didn’t take Monday off for Labor Day, take a half day on Friday – you deserve it (I have no doubt).

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andrea Beaudoin September 9, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Thanks for some great tips, Karen! It is so true that it is often hard to stop and set proper boundaries on our work. And, then we don’t feel rested and recharged. Thanks for the reminders! Andrea

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