When you punch a clock, you’re unreachable. At least that’s how it used to work.
All business. On the clock. Company time.
It’s not really like that any more. Most of us have to put in our own margin.
You will never get a response from me before 10:00 AM unless it’s a legitimately urgent matter. There’s a high likelihood I won’t even see your message (email, tweet, SMS). During this time I am doing my most important work.
It’s work that’s not necessarily urgent. I try to avoid doing deadline based client work during those hours. But it’s tasks and projects that require the most intense thought and will have the greatest impact on my goals.
These are my unreachable hours.
I also rarely answer business-related texts or email after 6:00 PM. This is after work hours for most people. I want to spend time with my wife or hang out with my kids or take a walk with my dogs.
And so should you.
Have “no-response hours”. Make sure you’re consistent with them. I’ve never had anyone get mad because I didn’t respond to their request as soon as they sent it. Your hours are yours. Use them to do your most important work and to connect with your most important people.
This is particularly critical if you set your own schedule, freelance, or work from home.
If you punch a clock it’s self-evident.