A colleague commented to me that I’m untypical of other business owners they know in my ability to switch off from work, whether that’s at the weekend or whilst on holiday. We were talking about email marketing and the fact that I dislike it landing in my mailbox at all times of day and night, including weekends and public holidays.
I get that we are living our lives online and that 24-hour virtual access is the norm. That doesn’t mean the sky will fall in if we wait until Monday morning to respond to an email.
I was working in retail management when Sunday trading came in and I didn’t like that either; not because I objected to working (anyone who has been employed in retail knows how tough it is and rest days are like gold dust). What irked me was being obliged to work Sundays as the norm when, in practice all it did was spread out the weekend’s takings across two days instead of one.
Quite possibly I stand alone on this but I’m thinking about the impact a 24/7 culture is having on people’s stress levels, given the pace of modern life.
Finding a good work-life balance hasn’t been easy by the way. You’ve heard me refer to myself as a ‘responsible workaholic’ with a strong work ethic so it’s more natural for me to keep going than to switch off. Add to that the passion and enthusiasm I have for my business and I could easily do nothing else but graft.
So, why have I toiled in order to be able to take it easy once in a while?
Because my time is precious and I want to make the most of it
Because there are a million things I want to do before I die and I don’t want to be cramming them all in when I’m 80 (assuming the retirement age hasn’t risen above that by then!)
Because there will always be enough work to fill every minute of every day if we allow it to and that used to suit me; it doesn’t now
How about you?
Good blog Robyn,
I agree on some points but not all. Depending on who your target market is depends on when you send the email marketing. If you targeting CEO’s and HR Managers they don’t tend to be in work at the weekend, however small business owners tend to work / catch up during the weekend. So, if you are targeting them as potential clients / customers then it’s a good time to get them so it doesn’t in-crouch on the rest of their week.
However I do understand that if you don’t work at the weekend and you’d rather not receive emails or check anything then it’s up to you (not you specifically – you in general) to turn off your device and not look at it till Monday. Our phones are with us 24/7 and when we as business owners have smart phones then the working day never ends.
I’m actually looking into getting a personal phone as more and more people (business owners) want to speak to me / you ( again not you specifically – you in general) personally, they don’t want to have to call a 0844/0845/01.. number and then have to be routed to the right person. That route would be for new customers / clients.
There are no right or wrong answers to this. It’s just about how we manage our time. Great point though!
Great discussion points Amanda. I agree that this comes down to how we manage our time. I’m not convinced though that a lot of weekend working is by choice; rather it’s about prioritisation and people running out of time. Good point about having a different phone for personal use. Since we all have a smart phone now and for most of us the same phone is for personal as well as business use, we don’t have the option to switch it off during ‘non-work’ hours anymore. By the way, I suspect some of my CEO clients would contest the idea that they don’t tend to work weekends!
Thanks for your reply. Yes, this is definitely about how we manage our time by prioritising it correctly and without running out of it. I think it depends on your role within the business whether you have a business phone and/or your personal one. I would assume the business phone (again depending on your role) isn’t to be used for personal reasons but it does depend.
I now have a personal phone which will allow me to leave it in the office or turn it off during closing times which also gives me more me time instead of looking at the last email that has just come through… Unless I have decided to be working on a particular day for deadlines, etc. I’m looking forward to having them separate and seeing if I use my time differently.
Thanks again for getting me thinking.