We used to be able to disconnect from the office. Our home lives and our work lives were separate. We had a life, as today's expression goes. In a world of e-mail, voicemail, pagers, cell phones, and personal digital assistants, it's increasingly hard to have a life. At least a life outside of work.
All these technological marvels are wonderful, except that they keep us so tethered to our work. We can no longer easily separate the workplace from the rest of our lives. With these connections, every place is the workplace. Result: burnout, severely reduced family and personal time, and shallow relationships with friends and family. We've been trapped in a world that expects instant response 24 hours a day, 7 days a week . . . if we allow it. And most of us do. But we don't have to!
Gil Gordon, an expert in telecommuting and virtual offices, shows us how to regain our freedom, privacy, space . . . to get a life. The book is organized into nine chapters, starting with How Did We Become So Attached to Our Offices. Get ready-in chapter 2, you'll learn How to Find Out if You've Gone over the Line. The balance of the book is page after page of techniques, based on Gordon's three zones of life management. Chapter 6 is critical: How to Approach, Inform, and Get Support from Your Boss, Clients, or Co-Workers. I bet you'll take notes on this chapter! Don't think you can do it all? Chapter 9 covers What to Do if You Just Can't "Turn It Off."
An important point: Gordon doesn't tell you exactly what to do. He just shows you the path. It's up to the reader to determine how far to go, when, and why. Turn It Off gives you the blueprint, the skeleton design, the concept. It's up to you to use it in the way that will be best for you and your life. No, you can't borrow my copy-I've marked it up-lots of fill-in worksheets. And I want to keep this book.
Turn It Off came at a perfect time in my life. I had reached that point where I really wanted to break free of the bonds of total connection. While my desire was there, I needed just a little bit of moral support and perhaps something to call my feeling. Turn it off! Yes! I read the book. I paid attention. I followed Gordon's suggestions to re-think my life. I made some major changes that feel wonderful already! Now I have to discipline myself to stick with it. I think I'll put Turn It Off in my tickler file for three months from now as a reminder to check my progress. Thanks, Gil Gordon--I now have a life again!