The presence of well-connected networks, availability of Internet on Smartphones has made it possible to stay connected anywhere on the move. This advantage, does come with its share of drawbacks to impact personal and professional lives at a point in time.

Now you can also connect with managers and supervisors at home or vice-versa connect with family and kids when at work. This has in turn, made it extremely difficult to draw a work-life balance and keep personal-professional lives separate. While we all intend to do so, somewhere you do notice a blending of both – that doesn’t facilitate productive time away from work or even at work.

The two seem to collide and cross path with each other at every other occasion. In an era where technology has greatly impacted our work-life patterns, you need a strategy to set clear line of demarcation to keep the two realms of your life distinctively apart.

Due to work demands and tight deadlines, many people continue to place emphasis on work over personal life. This is not a good practice as it causes both mental and physical stress due to imbalance between work and life. Separating the two is very crucial to ensure that your body gets enough rest to meet personal and professional life challenges.

While this might sound highly impossible, here are several ways you can make efforts to keep personal and professional life separate:

  • Maintain time discipline

Professionalism could mean anything, and unfortunately, staying at the office until midnight does not count on that. Rather, all you need to do is follow the main rule by coming to work on time and leaving work on time. If your work hours starts at 9, try to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier so that you still have time to prepare yourself before focusing on work.

When your work hours end, avoid lingering around in your cubicle to complete the ongoing tasks. Unless they are very urgent, you can always come back tomorrow to finish them.

  • Overcome procrastination at work

If you are the type who could get easily distracted, then it could make you procrastinate the job, it is time you change the bad habit. Find out what distracts you and try to minimise it as much as possible when you are working. This way, you can use your work time efficiently and more productively.

  • Create different social media accounts

In the present day, social media is no longer used for personal purposes and entertainment alone. Major companies are now using social media to network and drive engagement through relationships with customers, employees, and potential talent.

However, you are not advised to blend personal and professional information in one social media account. It will be better if you could use two separate accounts for work and private purposes.

For example, it would be more convenient to log in Facebook and connect with family, relatives and best friends. While for business connections, you can always use LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners.

  • Find activities outside work

Do not make your job as the only identity to define your personality. As a way to refresh your mind from the daily work fatigue, you need to do something different from what you have always done in the office. Find a new hobby which has nothing to do with your job role, such as gardening, photography or cooking. Once in a while, you might also need to take some time off to travel, have vacations, or simply hang out with non-work friends.

  • Keep personal issues at home and professional issues at work only

Just like how you have to leave all work affairs when you are at home, conversely you also have to leave all personal affairs when you get back in the office. Whether it is a problem with your partner, children, or parents, you should be able to put them aside for a while and shift your sole focus to the project you are working on and execute tasks on time, without procrastination.

Next read: Backstabber at Work: The Signs and What Should You Do About It

Facebook Said to Plan IPO Filing for as Early as Coming Week

Singaporeans “like” Facebook.

According to an international study by Experian Hitwise on Facebook usage among various countries in 2011, Singapore ranked top in the list of eight other countries, as having spent the longest time on Facebook- an average of 38 minutes and 46 seconds per session.

Statistics from Socialbakers in 2012 revealed that Singapore has one of the highest Facebook penetration rates in the world at nearly 60 percent, with new members joining every month.

With increasing popularity of such social network websites, it is of little surprise that studies have shown that social networking sites are taking up employees’ time, with more than half of office employees surfing the internet for personal use during office hours. In 2009, a study by an IT research company, Nucleus Research, found that about 77 per cent of employees who own Facebook accounts use it during office hours.

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According to The Straits Times in 2010, it is estimated that 70 per cent of companies in Singapore use software to block employees from assessing Facebook at work for security and to prevent loss of productivity.

Do you find yourself checking Facebook during work hours?

Here are some considerations to make to help you kick that habit.

 Read also: How To Be On Time For Work

You will be caught

In Singapore, most companies and organisations, be it in the public or private sector, monitor the online activity undertaken by employees through the tracking of office laptops and computers by an IT system. Hence, your company is aware of the amount of time you take to visit Facebook, book tickets for a movie or to do research for work. There are cases where companies view the issue of employees accessing Facebook during office hours seriously and have taken action against them, in the form of issuing warning letters or verbal warnings. Negative or suggestive postings on Facebook have even led to termination, for employees both in Singapore and overseas. Recently, in our neighbouring country, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) released a statement in January that civil servants or staff of government-linked companies who spend significant amount of time during office hours surfing Facebook can be deemed as corruption, because the government pays the employees to fully utilise the office hours for work.

Also, it is common these days for bosses and subordinates to be “friends” on Facebook. Imagine the awkward situation, when a staff posts a status which states “I am lazing at a corner” and his boss reads it in real time through live feed from Facebook postings.

 Read also: 10 Tips to Increase Productivity At Work

It takes up time

Time is a zero sum game. Every five minutes you spend with your eyes glued to the screen viewing other people’s walls, will be five minutes taken away from your work. Instead of using Facebook during office hours, how about focusing on the work which needs to be done instead? With greater efficiency, it may help you to get things done faster and knock off on time.

 

It shows your respect for the company

By abstaining from using Facebook for personal reasons during office hours, it also reflects that you respect the company and do not take advantage of the trust that the company bestows upon you to do work during the stipulated hours. After all, you are paid to work about nine hours a day. How would you feel if you hire someone to run errands for you for four hours, only to find out that he had taken a nap for two hours in between? It goes the same way for the company which you work for.

 

It affects your health and distracts you

A recent study which was published in the Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences suggests that social networking sites like Facebook can affect one’s mental health. While it probably takes more than Facebook surfing to cause a Facebook user to become delusional, it is likely that seeing negative postings on Facebook can affect our moods for the rest of the day, making it difficult for us to focus on our tasks at hand or pay attention during meetings.

 

Nevertheless, Facebook is a useful tool in creating awareness and impact, drawing the world closer, which  makes it easier to network and catch up with friends. If Facebook is in your job description, it is certainly a powerful tool when used effectively to engage your audience.  Otherwise, stop procrastinating. Stay away from Facebook and get going with your work.