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Is “unplugging” really that hard, people?

Happy NYE GC community.

I am perplexed so I thought I would throw my thoughts out into the troll-a-verse.

Per what I am reading on GC and my firm's own intranet, Big 4 is making a move to help its employees unplug and enjoy the holiday season (and work-life balance in general).  A lot of people may have NY resolutions that include unplugging more often or being more present in non-work moments.

But is it really that hard to unplug? Several companies are having practitioners write in and share their tips for unplugging.  Some write of one specific activity they enjoy for a period of 3-5 hours where they don't even look at their emails/phone.  Some go on vacations where it is impossible to bring your phone.

Really?  5 hours? 5 WHOLE HOURS where you aren't chained to your phone answering emails?

When did we become so self-important that we think if we don't answer an email within so many minutes of receipt that the world will stop functioning and mankind will fall into a precarious life or death situation?  Unless you are in the military, watching over a nuclear power plant cooling station (insert any number of actual jobs which actually can cause global problems if they aren't performed 24/7 such as medical emergencies, etc) nothing bad will happen if you ignore your email.  Am I the only person who understands this?  

Want to know how I unplug? Once I walk through the front door of my home, I put my computer bag along with corporate mobile phone in the closet.  And, I don't open it back up until I have it back at my desk the next work day.  I also bring neither one on vacation, or pull them out when I have time off.  Sure, there are times (a handful a year mind you and that is all) where I am asked to be available but I am asked ahead of time, and there are back-up plans if I am not.  And sure there are times where a client or someone called my mobile after my work hours and I didn't answer, but they were available the next day and all was well because we are accountants after-all – and nothing we do is important enough that we need to answer email 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  

So, as you are reflecting on your year today, and dreaming up all the possibilities for 2015, throw in there a reality check and enjoy yourself in 2015.



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