Before mobile phones, you had no choice about being out of touch outside working hours. You either got everything done during the working day or you didn’t. Even if you worked late, you could properly relax at home.
If you knew you were going to be away from your desk for a few days, you left it so that someone else in the office could pick up a call and handle things in your absence. You could concentrate on the job you were actually doing.
If you needed to get a report written or a complex spreadsheet set up, you deliberately took yourself out of reach of the banter, ‘quick questions’ and interruptions. You could give the job the attention it deserved.
All of this made us more productive, not less. And we were probably less anxious and stressed too.
Now, putting yourself out of touch has to be intentional.
And it’s a skill worth learning, for everyone’s sake.