Protect Your Non-Work Time

Protect Your Non-Work Time

Protect Your Non-Work Time
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Answer the questions below. Listen to some model answers and report back what you heard.

Do you sometimes think about work issues when you are home?
How often do you reply to emails or take office calls after working hours?
Would you like to have a better work-life balance?


Listen to the audio. What is the main message?



Read the article below. Check the meaning of any new words by moving your mouse over them.

Protect Your Non-Work Time

Some jobs have very clear lines between when you’re “on” and when you’re “off.” But when you work in a role where the lines are 1. blurred — or potentially nonexistent — it’s important to protect your non-work time. If you feel like work is taking over most of your waking hours, start by clearly defining what “after hours” means for you. 2. Take into account the number of hours you’re expected to work each week, as well as personal 3. commitments like taking your kids to school, making a certain train, or attending an exercise class you really enjoy. When do you need to start and stop to put in the appropriate amount of work time? Then, develop mental 4. clarity about what needs to get done and when you will do it. 5. Keep track of your tasks and plan them out. Make sure you block off time for an end-of-workday 6. wrap-up, where you review and make sure you did everything you needed to do for the day. Lastly, communicate with your colleagues about how (or if) you want to be contacted during your off hours. Really guard your time. If you don’t, you won’t get the mental break that everyone needs.

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Answer these questions using the information from the article and your own experience.

  • When is it especially important to protect your non-work time?
  • What should you take into account when you define your “after hours”?
  • What strategies can you use to protect your non-work time?
  • Do you have a personal system or strategy to keeping track of your tasks and duties?
  • Why do you think it is a good idea to tell your workmates how you want to be contacted after hours?
  • What does the expression “guard your time” imply?


Cast your vote in the poll.

How would you rate yourself as regards protecting your non-work time?



Language of rest and relaxation 

Fancy learning some language of rest and relaxation? Download the file. Upack it. There are two files inside. One file is a PDF and the other HTML – it’s an interactive version of the mind map.

how to talk about rest and relaxation

Learning is more effective when you use mind-maps!



How important is to protect your non-work time? Have you found a way to balance work and life?

Share your views and experience here.