Skip to main content

Ivan Mateev/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Next time you answer an e-mail at midnight it might be time to think about breaking the cycle of responsiveness you are wrapped up in, says Harvard Business Review.

Once you answer an e-mail at midnight, or take a call on your vacation, you've set the expectation that you're always 'on.' Your team will keep asking things of you, and you'll likely continue to accommodate them. That is, until you break the cycle.

Here's how:

Story continues below advertisement

1. Join forces.

Talk to those with whom you interact most frequently and agree on times when you'll all be offline and unavailable. Maybe it's an evening off, an e-mail blackout over the weekend, or uninterrupted work times during the day.

2. Experience the joy of turning off.

Pay attention to what it feels like to be offline. It may be hard at first but you'll enjoy the benefits of relaxation and increased focus soon enough.

3. Talk about it.

Regularly ask your team how it's going: Do you need to make adjustments to the offline schedule or agreements?

Today's management tip was adapted from "Are You Sleeping with Your Smartphone?" by Leslie A. Perlow.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at