Most people use the same beloved smartphone for both business and pleasure. While this level of integration is handy for mastering use of a single device and keeping important information in one place, it can cause some serious problems when it comes to keeping work and play separate. Americans already tend toward a workaholic lifestyle, with more than half monitoring work emails while they’re at home, and 68 percent indicating that they’d rather earn more money than have more vacation time.
If you’re looking for a way to put some space between your work and home lives without adopting a second device, try these smart strategies for keeping your essential apps and information together, yet separate.
Separate Your Calls with Google Voice.
Google Voice is the perfect tool for separating your work and personal lives on a single phone. This free service gives you a special phone number that’s routed to the phone of your choice. This means you don’t have to give your actual cell phone number out to clients and business contacts, yet they’ll enjoy equal access to your phone when you want them to.
When you don’t want your work contacts to reach you, you can route selected numbers to voicemail. Google Voice even lets you customize your greeting for particular numbers. You can link your Google Voice number to multiple phones, so calls ring through to an office or home landline during selected hours of the day. This is an incredibly powerful way to manage your communications and re-route business calls when you’re taking personal time.
Designate a Space for Work Thoughts.
It’s impossible to turn your brain completely away from work-related thoughts the moment you leave the office. You’re bound to hit on some great ideas when you’re relaxing at home or away on vacation, and you don’t want to lose track of them just because you’re taking time off.
Designate a particular place on your smartphone for collecting work-related thoughts. An app like Evernote is ideal for this. When a work-related thought pops up during your time off, dutifully jot it down, then leave it for later. You can rest easy knowing you’ve recorded the fleeting idea, yet preserve your free time by waiting until you’re back on the clock to dive into further research on the topic.
Separate Your Email Accounts.
Using separate email accounts for work and personal communications is only the first step in keeping these emails apart. If you’re using the same app for all your email accounts, it will typically look the same as if you had a single account for all your communications. Separate your accounts completely by using different email apps for work and personal purposes.
Turn off push notifications and badge app icons for your work emails when you want to get away from business matters. If you’re struggling to keep your personal life from encroaching on business, you can do the same for your personal emails during the workday. It’s nearly impossible not to look at your messages when they’re constantly popping up on your screen, but keeping them out of sight can help free your attention for other things.
Separate Your Apps.
The powerful Android for Work program helps you separate your work and personal applications so you essentially have two different smartphone interfaces on a single device. Creating a separate work profile via this program will also keep your personal apps, photos, and messages personal, so IT can’t access this data when it’s managing business-related applications on your phone. Android for Work is an ideal solution for powerful Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Divide for iPhone is the most comparable option for Apple users. Though it’s not as wholly integrated as Android for Work, this app still allows you to keep your work contacts, calendar, files, apps, and browsing separate.
You don’t have to let work concerns rule your precious time off. Slow down and step back when you’re off the clock by using these handy apps and thoughtful approaches to put more space between business and leisure.