Solopreneurs often feel that they must stay connected because they don’t want to miss that sale or that connection that could advance their business. For many their cell phone is also their business phone.
When I started my business over 20 yrs ago I had an office phone that was a land line. It stayed at the office and my personal cell phone went with me. Only family and friends had my cell number. If you needed me for business you would call my office phone and leave a message if I was not available.
Eventually I gave up the office land line phone for a office cell phone. What I found out is that no being connected to a land line and cord allowed me to take my office phone home with me. So I began to carry around two cell phones. I had different ring tones on them so I could distinguish which phone was ringing.
At times I chose to answer the work phone during personal time and then at other times I turned it off so that all calls went to the voice mail. I soon realized though that I would check the work phone even on weekends. So I resumed leaving it back at the office to preserve my family time.
I eventually got a VOIP number that attached to my personal cell phone. This allowed me to have one phone which had two phone numbers. This has worked out better financially as well as convenience wise. I only had space in my purse for one phone anyway.
It was still a challenge to not pick up work call outside of work hours, but with discipline I learned to turn off my awareness of the work calls and texts until I am back at work.
It is these kinds of daily challenges that can keep us from separating work and life priorities in a healthy way. If we don’t handle them well we can become imbalanced in how we approach our professional life. Being more balanced with work phones vs personal cell phones may soon become easier according to this recent article. Companies are now concerned about security and providing employees with a dedicated work cell phone. This may be a win-win for both the company and the employee. It will make it easier for the employee to balance the separation between work and personal life.
How have you handled being available by phone to clients or your company or the your company’s desire to have telephonic access to you?
Allison is a Professional Life Strategist, helping busy professional women maintain healthy relationships professionally and personally as they move forward in their lives. She gives you tools to build the life you want.