Digital Sequester

Protecting Work-Life Balance

Digital Sequester

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Starting next Friday, I’ll be embarking on an annual travel adventure with my partner. Each year, we prioritize time for a one-week vacation. While we love to travel, the trip is less about the destination and more about the experience.

Our goal is simple: reset, recharge, and gain perspective.

In years past, I would’ve promoted the benefits of remote work and your ability to go on vacation while also staying connected. But, over the last few years, I’ve come to change my perspective. Now, more than ever, I’m promoting a work-life sequester.

While remote work provides increased flexibility in its integration of work and life, it also makes it more difficult to fully disconnect. And, whether employers—and employees—like it or not, disconnection is critical. There’s a simple metaphor I use as a self-imposed reminder:

Imagine you’re a glass of water. But replace water with your own emotional, psychological, and physical energy. Over the year, you share your energy with those around you. But, as time goes on, the glass slowly drains until, one day, it finally empties. And guess what—you can’t pour from an empty glass.

With nothing left to give, burnout is inevitable. We often think about burnout at work, but it affects so many aspects of our lives. Our relationships suffer, our health suffers, our productivity suffers. And for what? To show how tough we are? To prove we deserve that promotion?

It’s so easy to put your head down and lose sight of how you’re feeling. Furthermore, as work bleeds into every waking hour of our lives, it’s even harder to take a step back and reflect on the important things in life. But hey, I get it—sometimes it’s not practical or feasible to take a week-long vacation away from everything. That’s ok; small changes can still have a big impact. If you’re not already following along, I encourage you to flip through my weekly challenges. Each week, they’re designed to serve as a gentle reminder to zoom out externally and reconnect internally.

As I head out for my annual reset, I hope you take some time to break free from the work-life struggle and find ways to build a safety zone for managing your emotional, psychological, and physical health. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one will.

Have a great week—I’ll be seeing you!

- Kevin K.

Worth Reading

1. For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth

It doesn’t matter how green you think you are; if you have surplus money, you spend it.”

It’s easy to believe we’re all capable of not only seeing, but acting on a greater good. For most of us, we presume if money weren’t an issue, we’d increase our generosity and turn our focus to the big issues—inequality, poverty, climate change, etc. Sadly, data points to a different conclusion.

2. How remote work is quietly remaking our lives

The changes remote work has introduced have happened so gradually you may not have noticed. But its growing popularity is remaking how we work, the tools we use to work, how we communicate at work, and even the hours we work. It’s also connected to population shifts from big cities to less populated areas, and it’s upending sectors of commercial real estate, both in terms of how spaces are designed and where they’re located.

3. The human skills we need in an unpredictable world

The more we rely on technology to make us efficient, the fewer skills we have to confront the unexpected says writer and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan. She shares why we need less tech and more messy human skills -- imagination, humility, bravery -- to solve problems in business, government, and life in an unpredictable age. "We are brave enough to invent things we've never seen before," she says. "We can make any future we choose."

Apps & Tools I’m Using

Shoulder Tap—Stop shoulder taps from interrupting your focus time

Always-on communication is arguably the biggest mental distraction for the modern workforce. Whether you’re working on a big presentation, trying to solve a difficult data problem, or just cranking through emails, staying focused is harder than ever. Shoulder Tap is a simple tool to help you manage requests for your time in Slack.

Weekly Challenge

Weekly Challenge #22

Make a list of 3 things you’re grateful for each day.

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Thanks for reading, and see you next week,

— Kevin K.

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