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  • #2259361

    Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…


    by geekchic ·

    I currently have 3 computers in my office (one is a MAC and two PC’s), a new Blackberry 8700c (loaded), a data projector, two voice mail systems and 3 email addresses to monitor plus management duties on top of that. Now granted, I have an excellent team and they require very little direction! We all work well together well except maybe one of them who is really getting on my nerves lately (had a complaint this morning about that one getting on someone else’s nerves for a change!).

    When I go home in the evening I am just worn out. And now with the Blackberry my email follows me everywhere I go plus, a lot more people now have my cell phone number and just because they go into work on Saturday, they think it is ok to call me for help when something goes wrong. Yes, I could just ignore the call but then I feel guilty. I am not ever on call, it is not part of my job but some people think that it is?

    How do I stop the madness??? What do you do to de-stress? I am trying to eat better and get away from my desk more but with the stupid Blackberry, my desk goes with me everywhere? Plus we are in the middle of changing over to Exchange (without any training) and the Blackberrys were a complete surprise and I had to figure out how to use them and train all the other users!

    Ok, I have whined enough…how do you de-stress after a day of this type of multi-tasking/multi-stressing???

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    • #3206574


      by tig2 ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      A lot. It helps, some.

      I have different focus- my team knows that they can reach me 24/7 but I don’t ALWAYS answer phone or email. I do get back to them but I have time away.

      Vitamin B complex will help. Learning to turn it off when you need to also helps.

      I understand. As women it is difficult for us. But we are able to set healthy lmits. Doesn’t sound like you have learned what the lines are and where you can draw them. Make that Job One.

      If you HAVE nothing, what can you give? Don’t let little crap wear you out.

      My $0.02

      • #3206567

        that turning it off thing is pretty hard to master!

        by geekchic ·

        In reply to Walk

        I will try the Vitamin B complex and you are right, I need to turn if off but I still haven’t learned to do that but I am trying. I do appreciate your 2 cents!!! I need all the help I can get….going to the store now!!!

    • #3206548

      Few things

      by onbliss ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      1) [b]Meditation[/b] (I have heard great things about it. Personally, I am going to start it shortly. Been reading a book and few articles)
      3) Yoga, Exercise, Martial arts
      4) Plenty of Water and Sleep.
      5) Read book instead of watching TV or browsing.

      The above are apart from the family, pets, friends, hobbies & outdoor related activities.

      • #3206539

        oooo…Martial Arts…I love that idea…

        by geekchic ·

        In reply to Few things

        then I could kick butt AND take names. LOL! I am actually a green belt in Jujitso but it has been awhile (like about 30 years!). I do read but I think I probably need to read something other then computer books and magazines…so I will look for something. Thanks!

        • #3207574

          Oh no…

          by onbliss ·

          In reply to oooo…Martial Arts…I love that idea…

          …if you want to get away then do not read computer books and magazines 🙂 you are just adding fuel to the fire.

          Oh well you are a green belt, there would be no point in me bragging to you about my yellow belt in Kenpo Karate. Am working on my orange belt now.

        • #3213310


          by zyzygy ·

          In reply to oooo…Martial Arts…I love that idea…

          Aikido is a martial art that is both physical and spiritual/philisophical – see if you can find a Ki Society dojo in your area. Its also very woman-friendly. I’ve been doing it fo abut 6 months and love it (49 yo, unfit male).

          My wife also got me square dancing a couple of years ago. Yes its corny, but it is both a gentle exercise *and* a mental workout. I have a grin on my face the whole time I’m dancing.

        • #3213144

          Martial Arts – Tai Chi

          by zclayton2 ·

          In reply to oooo…Martial Arts…I love that idea…

          If its been 30 years, try something low impact like TaiChi. I too had Judo (now 35 yrs past) and at 40 took up TaiKwanDo. Good aerobics, hard on the joints. Switched to Tai Chi and believe it or not, my TKD got better and so did my rusty Judo. Tai Chi is all about centering and gentleness but make no mistake, it is a martial art. After you learn the form you can take an applications class that will show how kick ass it is. I would compare it to judo at arms length, and as a bonus, you don’t make hard contact with the floor as part of the practice.

    • #3207586

      Nice simple computer games work for me – Doom

      by deadly ernest ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Soldier of Fortune etc. If you know what you’re doing you can even change the images for certain characters or monsters etc. Give them the face of people you dislike or cause you stress then stress out by blowing the suckers away on your computer.

      During my divorce I spent many hours blasting my ex in Doom maps – especially just before and after another spurious court case apperance.

      In recent years I found that ‘accidently’ leaving the mobile phone in the car’s glove box over the weekend very useful.

      • #3207548

        but then I would still be using a computer!!!

        by geekchic ·

        In reply to Nice simple computer games work for me – Doom

        don’t have any video game systems at my house…maybe I should buy one….

        • #3207398

          OK, then try something like playing basketball

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to but then I would still be using a computer!!!

          the physical activity will deal with the stress as the adrenalin (hope I spelt that right) cleans the system out and it matches the ‘flight’ and ‘fight’ part of the natural stressors.

          I used to play and referee basketball a lot, had no stress problems, burnt them all off. Then I wad a motor vehicle accident that damaged my back and that was the end of basketball and soccer, and similar active sports.

        • #3215494

          I would love to play basketball but

          by geekchic ·

          In reply to OK, then try something like playing basketball

          I can’t because I am currently dealing with a neck injury that will probably be with me the rest of my life because of a careless driver (not me by the way).

    • #3207558

      pick up a hobby

      by w2ktechman ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      You need an alternative to work, something to add balance and keep you going at the same time. to me it sounds like you need a hobby, something that is not IT related at all.
      For me I started with gardening, lots of different things, and usually a project too. Plus, it allows me to utilize (and upgrade) my power tools. nothing like building a theme and pulling out the saws-all, miter saw, sledge hammer, shovels, and concrete mixer. Not to mention, getting a truckload of gravel or sand to put out as well.
      a good workout I think, and I do like power tools, often looking for a reason to use them.

      but thats my 2 cents

      • #3207550

        I like power tools too…

        by geekchic ·

        In reply to pick up a hobby

        but only if I can use them in an air conditioned room!!! Too hot outside right now to play. It has been over 100 degrees everyday this week and three days out of last week.

        I was making jewerly for awhile but I misplaced my box of babbles somewhere and haven’t found them yet. Going to try to find them this weekend.

        But you are right, I need a hobby outside of computers…got to work on that one!

        • #3207490

          Plenty to do

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to I like power tools too…

          It has been over 100 here too. but standing in the shade doing work makes it feel cooler (light breeze). Whenever I go back inside I get too hot and come back out.
          I dont usually like to use AC, especially when power warnings are heavy. So instead I use fans, and a bit of water. For outside, I suggest a mist sprayer, dont need to keep it on, but when the heat starts to sink in, its a great way to cool off.
          In my hothouse (I grow cacti and succulents mainly) it hit over 120 on Sat-Sun this week.

          But, for indoor activities, I tend to get bored quickly. They dont keep me happy for long, and usually cost a lot and sometimes require permits and crap. So I keep my projects mostly outside.

          I dont know much about making jewelry, but I would imagine that it can be a nice hobby.

    • #3207511

      My advice is to plan little escapes…

      by vanessaj ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Hobbies are good and the walking and other suggestions are great, but make certain that when you do, you get a complete change of scenery. Get out of your world altogether.

      Plan little day-trips to places you don’t usually go. If you walk, take different paths each time or walk different trails or parks – they don’t even have to be that close to home, time allowed. If you read, get a good fantasy/sci-fi that takes you to an entirely different world. If you meditate, do it after a vacation and go back there in your memory to find a mental escape – like you’re actually in the Bahamas when you are meditating. You get the idea. You don’t want to just add more things to do…you want to GET AWAY to do these things, and leave your work completely behind you.

      It will be a challenge at first, but if you are mentally in the Bahamas and that blackberry rings, then it must be someone else’s because you are on vacation!!! Practice getting used to letting it ring and checking your messages later. You are worth that. Burn-out sneaks up on a person, or no one would ever let it happen. And it can be brutal.

      Take time for you. Life is short. Unless you’re a brain surgeon, or perhaps a police officer, it can wait. Set good, healthy boundaries. Say “no” (or at least “not right now”). Take care of you.

    • #3207486

      Stressing out

      by cmiller5400 ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      I usually read a book each night for an hour or two to unwind. Then I will watch TV for a while. The ultimate destresser for me is to take a trip to Mohegan Sun in CT. Don’t have to spend a lot of $$ but, just watching the waterfall over Todd English’s Tuscany is enough to relax. I just love pulling that handle listening to the bells and sounds of coin falling. ]:)

    • #3207372

      Hide that phone.

      by jim_p ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Yep I agree with what has been suggested, I am guilty on that big time, I am lucky, I have a work phone, so I just accidently leave it in my bedroom, and on weekends, I am hardly in my bedroom, and if I hear it ring, I just listen to the message to see if it is important or not.
      You can’t work 24/7 it will tire you out big time.
      I go to the gym after my work day, which takes my mind off work, and it’s healthy, but walking is good too, you can get out there and walk around and enjoy the beautiful world as we know it.
      Also I agree with taking day trips, drive to a place somewhere you can enjoy, main thing is, don’t sit on your black berry waiting for it to ring, let it ring, read your emails in the afternoon or just once a day (on your days off.) Find something to do, to keep your mind off work.
      Good luck!

      Kind Regards,

    • #3207294

      i’m confused

      by shellbot ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      so, being on call is not part of your job, yet you answer work calls on the weekend? You feel guilty if you don’t?

      Please do forgive me if i sound harsh, i mean no offence, but i want to point out some things..

      When i leave the office at 5 pm, i am “OFF WORK”. I do not take work calls unless it has been prearranged. If someone rings, i leave it, they can leave a voice mail if its important. If its a work phone, TURN IT OFF when you leave work.

      Blackberry..evil little things..again, at 5 pm, or whatever time you leave work, TURN IT OFF. Saturdays and sundays..TURN IT OFF.
      I have a mate who is wrecking his mariage as he is addicted to his blackberry, his wife is at her wits end, and he is going to lose her and his 2 kids to this sickness he calls “keeping in touch”.
      What did we all do before mobiles/cells? We left messages and did a really cool thing called “calling someone back if we really HAD to get in touch with them”.

      If someone corners you Monday AM and asks why you did not answer thier call, simpley say you had the weekend’s a nugget i’ve learnt..people, ESPECIALLY people you are FRIENDS with will USE you every chance they get..
      Fix this, help me, how do i, what do i, what did i…the list goes on.

      Are you going to single handedly save the world and will your boss give you a 10K bonus for answering phones on the weekend? If so, cool..go for it if you need the money, if not, why on earth would you entertain the idea of letting these people intrude on your “away from work time” ?

      Its all well and good to do yoga, or boxing, or play vidoe games, but why not start treating the disease rather than the symptoms. Yes, you still have to do things to “come down” and relax, but if your busy answering phones and worrying how everyone is coping without you, when are you going to find the time to relax?

      Will you answer email while you are doing yoga?

      People try so hard to do everything these days, especially women, as we often have to go the extra mile to get the same recognition or to prove we can do it.
      Don’t wait untill you have health problems or you lose some thing/one you love to decide on your priorities.

      Please don’t take offence at my directness, I understand you completly t, as i often get overwhelmed with work and will go weeks without a lunch break just to get caught up..but once i leave the office..i am UNAVAILABLE.

      I suggest going on a picnic with a good book with no phone or blackberry this saturday for your way up from there 🙂

      I hope you find some relax time this week and enjoy yourself!!!

      • #3207272

        Let me be harsh here

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to i’m confused

        None of us should be indispensible.

        I’m quite happy that as a manager, any one of my staff can be away and my group can function. I am the least needed of the group – most of my effort is in managing projects.

        I have three staff with “unique” technical talents who provide third level support as well as their main job – rolling out projects. Instead of all of them being on call all the time, they rotate. They cross train each other so that they can support each other. In an extreme emergency they might call each other for a consultation, but in the vast majority of cases, they can get along fine. BTW they are paid for being on call – 4 hours of OT just to be on call, plus any OT they actually do, per week. And if we know in advance that some help will be needed after hours, they make arrangements during the day, and try and do as much set up as possible in advance.

        I save my harshness for the “Crackberry” addicts. Many people seem to use the crackberry and keeping in touch as an excuse to not properly plan and prioritize their day.

        If you find things a little too stressfull at work, instead of being at the whim of the latest email, come in 15 minutes early, and use those fifteen minutes to plan your day. What are your top priorities, and what must get done today. Focus. At the end of the day, review what you got accomplished. Trust me, you will become more productive and the “extra” time you spend will relieve your stress and help your performance as well.

        One of the things that the “Seeven Habits” course taught me is that you have to plan your downtime as much as you plan your work. You should have priorities like, being with your friends and family, staying fit etc. Schedule that time, and don’t let other things impigne on them unless its an emergency.

        One thing I learned about “workaholics” is that they aren’t necessarily more productive than others. They chose to work long hours consciously or subconsciously, but they often lack focus.

        Try “First things First”


        • #3213134

          Harsh is not the word here

          by lorenfoster ·

          In reply to Let me be harsh here

          James, you want to be harsh, and if the conditions of your team say that someone has to be on call, then that is a known item. Don’t expect either an answer or a call back or work to be done outside the confines of that agreement. Those folks with the highly technical skills will find someone who values them more. I do not come to work early, I have no special training on getting my day organized. But the work is finished when I leave. And I leave the work at work, not home. I have an answering machine at home to screen calls, and caller ID on the cell.. Get upset if you will, but do not expect more than what has been agreed to before hand. Just not fair.

      • #3208753

        yes you are right…

        by geekchic ·

        In reply to i’m confused

        I need to just let it go…I am trying. And you are also right about friends who call for help. However, I made a big step yesterday and got caller ID for my home phone and my family has been instructed that if they don’t recognize the name on the phone don’t answer it. AND, I did let two calls go last night (on the work phone) and they didn’t leave a message so I guess it wasn’t important! Also, the thing about women having to work more to get recognized…you are right there. I work with one guy who thinks that I am stupid (maybe he is right) and treats me terribly. I have told my boss about it and he tried talking to him but he is just a jack@$$ that cannot be changed. So I have started talking back to him lately when he demands that I do something…and afterwards, I do feel better! : )

        Thanks for you comments, they were not too harsh…they were true!!

        • #3208680

          ok girl..i’m gonna give you a talking to

          by shellbot ·

          In reply to yes you are right…

          I work with one guy who thinks that I am stupid (maybe he is right)

          DO NOT EVER say that about yourself. EVER.
          I did it for years..and when i stopped, i realised just how f*cking smart i am, and i am not afraid to let other people know it.

          Take charge of yourself..walk proud with your head high and shoulders back.

          ANd when this guy treats you horrible, just remember, he deserves your pity. Maybe he had a unhappy childhood and doesn’t like women, maybe he’s not getting any at home, maybe he has a 1 inch penis,maybe he secretly likes you ..who knows..but shame on him, but double shame on you for letting him plant the seed that maybe you are stupid. he feels better by putting you down, so don’t let it get to you and maybe he’ll find someone else to have a go at.
          and just remember, one day you just might be his boss….

          have a good one GC !

        • #3213418


          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to yes you are right…

          My personal theory is that we are all a little bit stupid ;), but hey, that’s what makes life interesting, right?

          Anyway, I think I suffer from the same illnes you do (helpfulitis). I feel the need to answer every call, help every soul who calls, and in general make everyone happy. Three weeks ago, I did a week and a half averaging 3 hours of sleep a night as a result. Not a very healthy thing to do. My point in that? You are going to have to be consistent (and firm) with yourself in establishing better habits. Here are some suggestions (which I obviously need to work on still).
          1. Set a distinctive ring for your boss, and anyone else you WANT to be able to reach you off-hours), everyone else goes to voicemail. Establish 1 time (before lunch, 4:pm, whenever you want) to check your voicemail.
          2. Schedule a ‘you’ meeting on your calendar (a weekly appointment), to spend time with your favorite hobbies/computer games or learning something new you’ve always wanted to learn. Keep that appointment. It is just as imporant as your weekly staff meeting, and should be as (if not more) imprtant that you are in attendance (seriously, if somebody wnats you to do something during htat scheduled time, tell them “I’m sorry, I have an important meeting to attend then.”).
          3. Make time for regular exercise, preferably a good mix of aerobics and strength training.

          If all else fails, you might want to perform a ‘ruggedization test’ on the blackberry. A good 80 MPH asphalt drop test is a good way to determine whether said device is up-to-spec 😉

        • #3213137

          Who’s on call?

          by zclayton2 ·

          In reply to yes you are right…

          Because if there isn’t an on call person assigned, people will grasp at straws – and it sounds like you have been the first straw. Know who is on call, and refer the rude interrupters to that person, or just make sure the on call person is made known to the off hours people before the weekend and ignore all work calls except from the on call person (if you are really responsible for them, if not ignore ALL work calls).

          I worked on call for 8 years and after 15 years away from that I still get the occaisional call from someone who has not updated their phone list.

      • #3213528

        What’s your job description?

        by colonel panijk ·

        In reply to i’m confused

        Have a frank discussion with your boss. Is it part of your job description to be available 24/7? If so, it had better be reflected in your compensation! If they’re only paying you for 40 hours a week, make it clear that’s what you work. You’ll have no problem being available for genuine [i]major[/i] emergencies and the odd big project, but you’re [i]not[/i] going to sacrifice your life week-in and week-out. Got it? Demand some sort of OT pay or time-off compensation. If they expect 168 hours a week out of you, but pay for 30, find somewhere else to work.

      • #3213836

        Just say no

        by maevinn ·

        In reply to i’m confused

        I won’t carry a work cell phone unless I’m beng paid for it. I won’t work on something unless I’m being paid for it. I have a cell phone–but I control who has the number very closely, and I have no problem turning it off, or letting voice mail pick up.

        You need to get over the guilt trips. Repeat after me: I work so I can enjoy my life. My job is NOT my life, and I will not let it edge out the important things.

        You might want to pick up 7 Habits by Stephen Covey. While I am not gung ho about being super organized, it makes some valid points about how you identify your priorities, and then how to organize to meet those priorities.

    • #3207245

      As the (modified) song suggests

      by now left tr ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      I wake up around 6, get out a bed around 7
      Get to work about 9 sippin a drink and feeling fine.
      It all kicks off aroud 11, lunch at 12 away at 5,
      and that old blackberry is one mean MF you should kick it on down the line. 🙂

      As others have said – turn the machine off when out of hours. Go on, you know it makes sense!

    • #3208901

      Games, Exercise, kids and pets

      by tink! ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      I go home to 3 young children, 1 dog and 2 cats who are all happy to see me. (Husband is too I s’pose but he’s usually busy playing games on the PC 🙂 )

      I have one daughter who likes to watch my kind of TV shows which is nice, on certain nights we’ll snuggle on the couch and veg.

      Lately we’ve been swimming alot. I enjoy swimming laps as well as playing with the kids. Both are relaxing and let you unwind.

      And then on nights when I can get my hubby off the PC, I play games. Otherwise I may play vid games with my kids.

    • #3215519


      by geekchic ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      I bought a book (The Divinci Code), found my jewerly making stuff, took 3 days off, dropped one of my youngins’ off at his new college (sniff…sniff…) and bought a fresh supply of dark chocolate for my desk drawer. When I get home, I leave the Blackberry in my purse and if someone really needs to get in touch with me they can call my home phone…ok I did answer a few emails but they were personal ones not work related.

      Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and for reminding me that there is life after work. I do appreciate your truthfulness…I sure needed it!

      • #3215470

        Glad we were helpful!

        by tig2 ·

        In reply to ok….

        When you find yourself backsliding, we will all tell Shell on you. She’s pretty convincing!

        A trick for your back pocket- use in case of emergency…

        Get involved with something that requires your presence- be committed and hold yourself accountable. For me right now it has been the 3 Day. Failure to train will equal failure to survive. I train with my partner during the week and on weekends we both train with my team. People expect to see us.

        At other times, I have volunteered at church, been available to help out at the local animal shelter, committed to a twice monthly “Scrap and crop” night. What this does is allow you the downtime you need but forces you to be committed to it.

        There was a time in my life that I had a very hard time saying “no” to work. I have since learned that life is way too short. When you are looking back on your life, the times you will cherish will not be the times you spent at work.

      • #3214418

        Dark Chocolate + Black Coffee

        by onbliss ·

        In reply to ok….

        ….nothing to beat it. And when you add a good book to the combo, I guess that is being in bliss 🙂

      • #3213294


        by ngunnawaljack ·

        In reply to ok….

        Good for you. Great first steps. Keep it up. Also Tiggertwo’s advice has great value – that approach helped me after 30 years in the game.

        I’ve also switched careers from software/networking into business consulting on information needs.

        … I do miss the adrenaline rush of resolving a difficult support issue/customer, but I like my life back.

    • #3214255

      A HA HA HA HA!!!!!

      by geekchic ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      The power went off, had 18 minutes to shut down the network, the IP phones went offline, even the blackberrys stopped working! They sent us home early!!! Yippeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

    • #3214777

      do you have a girlfriend/wife?

      by momodou ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…


      • #3214761

        As a last resort

        by abuk_fs1 ·

        In reply to do you have a girlfriend/wife?

        I used to work for a large taxi company as sole IT person for 2 sites one of which was incredibly flakey. One site had Australian software installed and one had Canadian software installed whilst we are UK based so time zones were interesting and both sites ran 24/7/365.

        To cut a long story short I recieved 2 or 3 calls a day out of hours (any time day or night) for about 4 years when it really wore thin. They had even got to the point they wanted me on a bluetooth heaset so they could contact me when I was driving the 140 miles between sites (which I refused for safety reasons).

        The solution…… change jobs. I am now in a job with a larger company, more staff under me, the office is only 07:00-23:00, same money, shorter commute, less working hours and no travel away from home. They have even mentioned this strange word called “training” which I had to look up in the dictionary.

        In the 5 months I have been here I have received about 6 calls out of hours which I would have had in 2 days at the last job. No job is worth your health or peace of mind, if it gets that way change it.

    • #3214774

      The Switch?

      by dotxen ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Ummm… try turning it off?

    • #3213720

      35 years of experience

      by pkr9 ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      in this type of work have learnt me a few lessons.

      You can do as you do now. Be sure to take out life-insurance that will cover your family when you pass away at the age of 50 – at best. I learnt the lesson by waking up in the intensive care unit.

      Do some major changes.
      Set a weekly or monthly number of work hours – and keep to it. That means that when staff calls you in the weekend or at night, you subtract those hours multiplied by some factor you decide from time at work during nowrmal working hours.
      B. Look in your contract. Does it say that you are on call 24/7/365? What are the measures against “system failures”? Same or better than those for keeping your servers up 24/7/365? Or is it simply run until it breaks, and replace? If so – get out now!.

      C. Accept that nobody is so special that someone else can’t do the job. If your staff needs calling you at all hours, maybe you have an educational problem or an authorisation problem. The keys to massive destruction of the world are given to the American and Russian presidents -but at the next election we give them to someone else.
      There are a number of stress-removers known to work. None of them comes from the chemical or pharmaceutical industries.
      A. A good one is sailing – real sailing by using wind and sails. Any size of boat will do, any strech of water will do.
      B. I can recommend learning meditation. Forget about all the religious stuff in it and use it as a tool, if you have other beliefs.
      C. Remember your family, the kids want YOU more than all the stuff you buy them.

    • #3213636

      Don’t give out your Cell # to anyone at work!

      by rlgoers ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Don’t give out your Cell # to anyone at work!

      I think it is essential to separate work and home life… Sometimes that is impossible, as in the case where you have a job where you are on-call, and your employer has provided a cell phone for that purpose. Otherwise – I would NEVER give out my private cell number to anyone at work. My manager has asked me for my number several times. I give her my HOME phone only (since that’s already on record in the personnel office). You have to keep some things private, and I do not think it is reasonable for an employer to expect you to give him/her your personal cell number.

    • #3213603

      Get physical!

      by chikawelja ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      No, dont beat up everybody…Just try to go to the gym three times a week and you will feel the change.

    • #3213578

      Post your off-hours

      by blarman ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Notify everyone of when you are available and for what reasons they can contact you off-hours. Then you have peace of mind knowing that the only calls that should come truly and desperately need your attention. If it isn’t one of those reasons, politely remind the person on the other end that the problem WILL wait until Monday.

      If you can, attach a monetary price to those after-hours (non-critical) calls. Most of my experience has been that if those after-hours calls come out of someone’s budget, they get made a LOT less.

      If you don’t set the parameters for your downtime, however, your stress level will only go up.

    • #3213519


      by ashby ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      All these devices have off switches – use them when you leave work. Buy a private cell phone and be careful who you give the number to.

      If your boss whinges, suggest he pay you 50% of your normal rate for standby cover.

      Life’s too short, you don’t need this c**p!

      • #3213449


        by agonzalez1 ·

        In reply to Simple

        Try swim in a pool, lake, river, whatever, water is very relaxing, at least for me.

        Playing is also helpful, I play Guildwars for two hours tops and then sleep very well, ready for one more day.

    • #3213327

      turn it off

      by gsg ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Turn it all off. When you leave the office, turn off the blackberry. I’m assuming that you do have people on call, if so, then when they call your cell, give them the number to your oncall person. If you don’t have an on call person, then don’t post your cell phone (if possible), or, just turn it off. It’s easier than you think

    • #3213298

      Put your foot down, communicate and manage your schedule first

      by anniemae46 ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      I think it’s not about how to de-stress, but managing and sticking to a schedule where you can actually look forward to some off-time. Many things have changed in your work environment, so maybe agreements and schedules need to be adjusted accordingly. Unless there is a real emergency, you have a right to take time off from work. I just think that people don’t realize it that you are going completely out of your ways here. Put your foot down and communicate that you are available from xxam to xxpm or whatever the schedule should be.

    • #3213283

      Watch a Borg episode of Star Trek TNG

      by mgordon ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      Engage some expectation management — if you always answer the cellphone, then the first time you do not it will make people angry; but if you do NOT always answer it, then the first time you DO, you make people happy! Callers generally do not know or care whether you are “on call.”

      If you are any kind of manager, then you are automatically “on call” whether you like it or not. However, the only people that should be calling (or that you should feel guilty for not answering) is your “chain of command” — up or down.

    • #3213249

      my brother also has a cell

      by bluron ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      phone for work. he is smart enough tho to have a land line and once he leaves work off goes the cell phone. if you have your cell phone for work, turn it off at 5:00 pm and don’t turn it back on until you are back at work the next work day. took him about 2 months to figure this out, while he to was going crazy with all the calls. remember, the phone has absolutley no constitutional rights. you don’t have to answer it, you don’t even have to turn it on. use it as a tool, not a life style and you will reclaim your sanity. good luck

    • #3213114

      Possible Options

      by bblacklock ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      If the cell phone is not company supplied, then change the number. Don’t give out your private number to the folks at work. With the best of intentions they will pass it along to the rest of the company as you are the “goto person” who can always fix the problem.

      No pay, no play … if you are not being compensated for 24-7 support calls, don’t take them! If I am obligated to provide support when I am away from the desk, I generally set up a scheduled time when I will check voice mail and email. If the company insists on 24-7 support, I advise them that my off hours rate is $135.00/hour or any portion thereof and they get to pay for the “emergency cellphone” and any other technology that they want me to use. I have found that the accountants generally step on the silly support calls faster than I do when they see the bill.

      The Blackberry is a problem, but I find that if they are stuffed inside a metal toolbox or desk drawer, they don’t receive very well … or just turn the silly thing off.

      Find something physical and relaxing to do, while many folks have suggested sensible physical activities, I find that splitting wood and shaping metal (hobby-blacksmith) are exceptional stress relievers. I find the act of beating on things is actually soothing, might work for others too.

      An old friend taught that there is something theraputic in breaking things. She used to pitch old dishes (shop at the thrift shop) at a concrete wall. Suprisingly soothing if a tad noisy.

      Destressing for most of us is something we don’t take very much time for and should. I want to try the dark chocolate and coffee solution, even if it doesn’t actually help it will let me justify my low level addiction to both substances.

    • #3214050

      Shooting range…

      by ibanezoo ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      I spend alot of time at the shooting range… and more recently I have taken up archery because I can’t shoot firearms in my backyard.

    • #3213778

      I am lucky

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Multi-tasking, stress and new technology…

      For now because the nurses that I am in charge of, I am the only in person contact they have. They do not work on Sundays so I put vary bad movies in the DVD player and let my mind go! Oh by bad movies I mean bad horror, Sci-Fi ect not bad as in adult.
      I also woodwork, fish, take nature trails with my wife and hang out here, this is a great place to let loose and enjoy my self.
      This may sound bad but a few days a week I will go in early and get a lot of stuff done, then enjoy a good breakfast and read the paper or an IT magazine. That is a good way to unwind and make the day go a little better.

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