There are times when activities such as paying bills, making weekend plans and checking personal emails are appropriate – and work hours are not those times, says Joclyn Balanda.
“One of the most beneficial practices I’ve adopted is to completely compartmentalize my personal life from my work day,” writes Balanda, 47, senior relationship manager with PNC Wealth Management in Charlotte. She is married with three children, ages 20, 18 and 11.
“I no longer read personal emails, make personal phone calls, pay bills or do other personal administrative tasks during the work day – ever. As long as my family is safe and healthy, I literally try not to even think about family administrative things during the day. … My friends and family know not to call me during the work day. I set aside a few hours on Saturday or Sunday morning to do family administration, which sometimes even includes opening the mail for the week. This way, my family has my full attention during the weekday evenings as well. If there’s a phone call that has to be made during work hours, I plan to do it from the car between appointments.”
Here’s more on how Balanda uses that focus in her work life, with her comments edited for brevity:
What are your favorite devices, and why? It’s scary how much I love my iPhone – and the remote access token for work was life-changing.
Apps for efficiency: I have the Kindle app on my iPhone, so any time I’m early for an appointment or sitting in the soccer car pool line, I’m able to read. Also, I have the Panera app on my phone. In a few clicks, I can order my latte in the morning and pay for it. I walk right by the long line of people waiting to order at Panera and pick up my latte off the shelf.
I travel by car for work fairly often, so I always have a book on tape loaded onto the Audible app.
One word to describe how you work: Got to go with two words: laser focused.
What’s your best tip for staying organized? Keep current with your to-do list and cut out everything in your life that isn’t meaningful to your profession or family or doesn’t make you happy.
How do you stay on task while at work? I don’t multitask. I do one thing at a time … and I keep a list of tasks so my mind doesn’t wander to what needs to be done next.
Fill in the blank: By day’s end, I’m ... TOAST.
Everybody works differently. Know a savvy Charlotte-area professional with interesting ways of getting things done? Email Celeste Smith at email@example.com.