The pressure of being constantly contactable and reachable.
This post was 100% inspired by Grace Victory. Someone I have followed and admired for years. She’s spoken online recently about deleting WhatsApp. I know, I gasped too when I read it…
But it got me thinking about how ‘reachable’ we are in modern society.
How often do you check your inbox throughout the day? Your messages? Your social media comments?
Chances are, it’s more times than you can count on one hand. Possibly both. I don’t even wanna know how often I check mine!
Next question is – how often do you spend time getting back to other people, to the detriment of your own agenda? Whether that’s to switch off and relax at the weekend or have a productive day in the office.
In an age where we can connect with someone instantly, anywhere in the world, are we feeling even more pressure to then be replying to those connections the second they come in?
The anxiety I feel being constantly contactable can, quite frankly, feel exhausting.
The most successful businessmen and women in the world are not living in their inbox all day. In fact, they actively seek to put systems in place to efficiently sort through it all. Whether that be checking them once a day, replying there and then or even just choosing not to reply at all (another gasp!)
Yet here we are, feeling guilty if we don’t reply to an email the same day, or constantly checking our phone for new messages and comments. Don’t get me started on notifications. I turned them off long ago because the constant pings made me want to flush my phone down the loo!
Don’t get me wrong, this phone in my hand is incredible. Life changing. How lucky I am to use it to build my career, connect with like-minded people, learn and grow as a human.
But the anxiety I feel being constantly contactable can, quite frankly, feel exhausting.
Can you relate?
Simple strategies if you’re feeling ‘constantly contactable’
- Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb (I like this because if any of my loved ones contact, they can get through as they’re marked as Favourites)
- Turn all social notifications off (yes, even WhatsApp messages)
- Check apps in your own time, at a set time of the day (e.g. reply to your emails at 10AM for an hour – anything else after that hour can wait ’til the next day)
- Consider a digital detox (e.g. turn on airplane mode every Sunday afternoon, or switch your phone off at 9pm)
- Anyone using their phone for work – consider switching your work phone off and having a cheap old phone just for calls/texts from loved ones when you’re having downtime
- Try not to give work contacts your number (if they need to chat, they can email)
- Think about any other boundaries you could set that will manage people’s expectations
If you can relate, I’d love to know if you’re going to try any of these and any others you have to add to the list!
Now I’m off to do some work…and NOT check my email…!