The Importance of Setting Office Hours

I saw this interesting post over on Digital Nomads and I thought it was worth highlighting for anyone that works outside a normal office – although there may be lessons here for people that work in regular offices as well. I try to stick to a 9 AM to 5 PM work schedule, although there are some evenings when I’ll devote myself to writing or catching up on email. In order to minimize my online presence though, I’ll usually sign myself out of my IM client, and shut down Outlook (unless I’m playing email catch-up). And even though I’ve had the ability to use push email for years, I instead configure my Windows Mobile smartphone to check email every two hours during the day, and every four hours over the weekend. I also will happily ignore the email chime when it goes off. I never want to become one of those sad people who are trained like dogs to reach for their phone whenever they hear the email chime. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with one of those people? You’re talking, or they’re talking, and everything comes to a screeching halt as they have to check and see what email came in. Things have gotten completely out of control, and office workers need to take back control over their lives by working only within working hours. Ok, rant over. 🙂