Welcome to the American Occupational Therapy Association's Checking the Pulse blog. Written by Stephanie Yamkovenko, AOTA's digital editor.
Here you will find news about occupational therapy, current health news, and more. I regularly blog about apps that clinicians can use in practice, autism issues, managing chronic conditions, wounded warriors, and more.
AOTA members receive the biweekly OT Practice Pulse e-newsletter where we share resources and news from AOTA and other sources that directly affect occupational therapy practice—curated just for members! Here on the Checking the Pulse blog, I will share even more relevant and interesting news, videos, blogs, and more.
I read hundreds of articles about health, wellness, and policy every week to find the most engaging and enlightening content for you. Blog readers can stay in the know, go beyond the news, and find out how the latest health news affect occupational therapy.
Found a story worth sharing? Send it to us today! Or send me a tweet @AOTAInc.
In a recent 1-Minute Update poll, we found that nearly 80% of respondents checked e-mail and stayed connected with work after hours. Some respondents (28%) say they like being connected to work after hours, and other respondents (23%) reported only checking in when they knew something important was coming up. Another 28% of respondents said that being connected to work after hours encroached on their down time.
Do you use today's technology to stay connected with your job, even when it’s not work hours?
First it was Blackberries, but now smartphones and tablet computers have made being connected to work at all hours easier than ever. If you’re finding that this increase in productivity is making you uneasy, not allowing you to concentrate, or not being able to be present with family and friends, check out some tips that we’ve gathered from around the Internet.
1) Set ground rules. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it helps to make small and conscious steps toward your goal. Let your coworkers know when you are planning to turn off your phone on weeknights and weekends (if they have the expectation that you will respond right away). Decide if you want to make a certain night, say Friday, a completely offline evening.
2) Get it out of sight. Turn your phone on silent (not vibrate) and put it in another room. Take time to relax, meditate, or exercise. Get engaged when you’re home by doing a puzzle on the floor with your child or preparing a meal with your spouse.
3) If you’re a manager, have a conversation with your employees about your “after hours” expectations. Make your expectations clear and let your employees know that you want them to “shut down” when needed.
4) Manage your e-mail. If you receive an unmanageable amount of e-mail, consider creating separate accounts for different aspects of your life. Some e-mail programs allow you to set up filters, which will automatically sort e-mail when it arrives in your inbox.
5) Don’t feel guilty when checking work e-mail after hours. It happens. Most of us have done it. You should not feel guilty when you check work e-mail at home. A psychologist told CNN that guilt about checking work e-mail often comes from unrealistic expectations—thinking you should be doing more when you already are doing enough. Read more here.
6) Remind yourself that your best work happens when you’re giving your full attention to your job. Robert Sutton told the New York Times that connectivity can damage our quality of work—everyone ends up doing a worse job because they are doing more things. He says we become entranced by our devices and ignore real life. If you see an e-mail after work that requires your full attention, wait to address it in the morning at work.