Put your life into flight mode

Illustration by Thomas Pullin

Excerpt from this article:

It wasn’t overly surprising, really, to learn from two recent psychology studies that being “on call” is stressful, exhausting and dampens your mood… And these days, whatever it says in your contract, aren’t most of us with jobs increasingly on call, all the time? …As many a glum cultural critic has noted – even if recently it seems as if the critic’s name is usually Jonathan Franzen – technology has eroded the boundaries that used to segment our lives… What this new research underlines is that the mere possibility of interruption is sufficient to cause trouble, even if that interruption never comes.

…Nonetheless, it’s worth asking if there are ways you’re effectively putting yourself on call when you needn’t be. For example, I now habitually switch my mobile phone to flight mode for an hour or two each morning; sometimes I do it overnight, too, and I’m convinced I sleep better, even though nobody calls at 3am when I don’t. Other possibilities suggest themselves: if you don’t need to answer work emails at the weekend, don’t check them. (Use a separate address for non-work messages, or set up a Gmail filter so you see only those you want to see.) Use a different device if you can, too: using work technology at home, it’s been shown, makes it harder to detach.