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There is an absolute melding between what is work life and what is leisure. The challenge for employers is to make the work week as interesting as the weekend, because with blackberries, mobile phones and email – leisure time is becoming more like work.

Many employees are now expected to be ‘on call & available’ people who receive emails at 10.00pm at night are expected to have them answered before 7.00am the next day.

I met a man this week who works for a large organisation and he said if he has his ‘crackberry’ with him on weekends he just can’t help himself – he has to check in on what is going on. So he now has a different mobile phone – just for the weekend.

Down time is just as important as work time – having no time to be creative, or think things through means that new ideas, and innovation are much harder to come by.

I was speaking with a friend of mine last night who told me of a person who was simply the most successful in his field – and he only worked 4 hours a day. The rest of the time he spent ‘playing’, reading and learning about completely different subjects. But when he focussed he really focussed.

I am just back from holidays – and I have come back with a million ideas. (no laptop for 10 days straight). It is so very important to have creative time. This is where great ideas come from.

All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl – isn’t that how the saying goes.

Reader Interactions


  1. The emergence of 24 hour business gadgets has lead to an increase in borderline adictive behaviour amonst many young and some more mature executives. I have been coaching a number of Execs on this very issue over the last 12 months and though their are people who recognise their behaviours with these tools have become problematic, there are an ever increasing number who are sliding down a slipery slope that are not aware of it. The standard provision of these tools at certain levels of business come with an unspoken expectation that they are used in a 24 hour 7 day a week fashion.

    The subsequent behaviours and then perceptions that follow are serious indeed. Any benefit provided by the gadget in many cases has become more than negatively offset by the impact on the individual and their surrounding relationships both at work and importantly beyond.

    Some behaviours to beware of: – leaving the gadget on for 24 hours and being worries about switching it off – constant checking for messages – urgent response regardless of the company they are in (prioritising the gadget) – if no messages for a duration then feeling compelled to contact others so they will respond – at home preferring to be on the gadget that in conversation with family – not being able to leave the house without the gadget – refusing to go on holidays without the gadget as they are too important to the business not to be in contact – if on the rare occasion tha tthe gadget has been forgotten or left behind, verbalising their worry and frustration about it and when returning home rushing to check for messages – and more…

    If any of these are behaviours that you are exhibiting then it is clear that a personal gadget management plan is in need!!

    For coaching support on these and other executive behaviours – contact us:

    Written by Anthony Sork – Managing Director of Sork HC

  2. I agree completely with what you have said. I feel I am on call 24/7 as I work in a busy call centre for an Internet service provider. I have an I-Mate which can receive emails and I’m constantly checking it when at home, it drives my partner up the wall. I feel it’s a habit that comes more from the work culture, your employer expects you to be there when they need you or require you to be their for any staff you supervise, including after hours. I find the times that I do leave the phone alone that I’m able to think more clearly, I’m more relaxed and I have more quality time with my family. This habit is certainly becoming a real issue now that we have PDA’s with such capabilities and I feel it’s an issue employer’s should address before staff burnout or start to experience serious personal issues.

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