There have been calls to make it illegal to check work emails after hours, but you can start breaking the pattern now.

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There have been calls to make it illegal to check work emails after hours, but you can start breaking the pattern now.

It’s one of the more vexing annoyances of modern existence. When your work phone vibrates with a ‘important’ email from your boss, you’ve just poured a cup of tea and snuggled down to binge watch something on Netflix.

The blurring of work and leisure time has never been more obvious (and has been exacerbated for many by recent working from home restrictions), resulting in more of us replying to emails during what should be our free time.

Some are now advocating for a ban on bosses’ out-of-office emails to prevent off-duty employees from feeling compelled to check their inboxes at all hours. Prospect, according to the BBC, is urging the UK government to implement a “right to disconnect.”

While responding to the occasional email isn’t the end of the world, we all know it can quickly spiral into a situation where coworkers expect you to be reachable at all hours of the day. It has the potential to cause tension, anxiety, and even burnout.

If you’re a self-described workaholic, however, reading your emails isn’t necessarily a conscious behavior, and it may become as addicting as browsing through Instagram and TikTok. As a result, it’s critical to set boundaries with your leisure time.

Here are some things you may do instead of burning the midnight oil on Outlook the next time you get the itch….

Organize your life. Why not make the most of your leisure time and schedule that long-overdue dental visit or haircut?

Knit something to keep your hands occupied if you’re prone to checking your phone repeatedly.

Extend your muscles. Hunching over a computer all day isn’t good for your back, which is likely in dire need of some TLC.

Take two minutes to water your houseplants; they’re likely to be neglected even more than your inbox.

Make a week’s worth of meal prep ahead of time. That way, you’ll be able to save some time during your lunch break.

Switch off your phone and put it down. (This is a brief piece.)

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