I was surprised when my coaching client Lauren,* a 30-something working mom, told me that she doesn’t use a smartphone. In fact, she doesn’t even own any type of mobile phone.
Lauren uses a work-issued cell phone (wait until I tell you her job position). But she handed it in just before starting her second five-month maternity leave, protective of her family time.
Now that she’s back at work, she keeps the phone off while riding the commuter train. “I found my attention constantly focused only on the phone and that was bothering me. My commute is so much more relaxed now.”
As Lauren is a proud mom of two preschoolers, don’t you think she’s plastering photos on Facebook for all her friends to see?
“I’m not on Facebook.” What?!
“My friends give me a hard time because they can’t call me anytime on a cell or Facebook me. But on most days, if I’m not at work, I’m at home, so if they really want to reach me, they call me there.”
The kicker? She works as a communications advisor for a government agency. It’s not a crisis communications position, she said, so her self-imposed accessibility limits are compatible with her job. In fact, she hasn’t received push back about it.
Would you say Lauren is brave and brilliant about boundaries, or is she bonkers?
As I see it, despite the pressure of the behavior norms around her, Lauren recognizes she has choices and is making bold decisions about boundaries that support her work-life goals.
You can do the same: assess your priorities, develop your the work-life vision that makes sense for you and your family, and make choices to match. If you’re struggling with these steps, let me know how I can help.
*Name and other specifics have been changed for privacy protection. BTW, her coaching related to getting a reduced work schedule. The work-life boundaries thing? She’s got it covered.