Thanks to modern technology, we are now able to stay in touch and connected with our colleagues 24/7. When you work in a hectic environment or have tight deadlines, your mind is constantly filled with thoughts of work and it can be hard to turn off. You might feel anxious about missing out on an email or important call that might come through at the weekend.
However, it’s important to remember that you need time away from your job if you want to be productive during the week and feel happy in the long term.
Staying healthy is important.
Switching off from work may seem difficult at first, but there are ways to make the transition easier. Keep on scrolling to find out how.
Give yourself permission to unplug
It's okay to take a break! I know it feels irresponsible, and you feel guilty, but you shouldn't. You're more productive when you work fewer hours. In a healthy work environment, people should know how to wait for your response or decision on something tomorrow, or wait for the next business day over the weekend (except of course for emergency callouts). The quality of your work, determination and helpfulness define your worth in a company, not your response time.
Find your balance
The most important thing you can do to avoid burnout is get your work-life balance right. If you feel like work is taking over, it's time to reassess the balance and decide what's right for you.
Your work-life balance will be different depending on your circumstances. Therefore, you'll need to find a healthy balance that works for you in your situation and takes into consideration things like:
- How long you're usually at work each day or week
- How much time you can spend with family and friends each day or week
- Things that are important in your life, such as doing volunteer work, playing sports or going to the movies
- The costs of any services, such as childcare or public transport
Create a routine
A great way to start is to create a new routine that helps you feel more relaxed, focused and engaged. Why? Routines can reduce stress and make it easier to unplug (instead of spending time considering what your next move should be, you've already got it figured out).
Routines can help you be more productive at work and actually get more done in less time, which means you might find that you can check out earlier than usual—setting yourself up for a better evening.
Keep your calendar manageable
Be realistic about how much time you spend working every day. Before deciding to work less, it's important to remember that work often takes longer than expected. Make sure your goals are achievable and that you have the support of your supervisor(s).
Delegate tasks to others. Sometimes it is necessary to pass on responsibilities, even if you're planning on taking a break from working so much. If you need to delegate tasks, be transparent with those you assign them to and give them clear deadlines.
Strive for goals by being present and engaged
Be present and engaged with your family, friends and colleagues.
A workplace is where a high degree of focus is required to get the job done. In our everyday life, we are constantly distracted by text messages, phone calls, emails and other forms of communication. Disconnecting from work doesn't mean shutting the world out entirely. It means using your time in productive ways that benefit you and others.
Don't let work creep into your personal life
We have about 16 hours when we are not at work or sleeping (assuming you get 7-8 hours of sleep a night). When balancing work-home integration and work-life balance, stay focused on what you can control rather than what you can't control (control is an illusion).
Shifting your mind space away from distractions and focusing on the present moment, whether it be through meditation or mindful practices (ex: yoga), can help reduce stress levels and increase productivity during the day while allowing you the opportunity to take care of yourself first before doing anything else
So this Labour day, disconnect, switch off, or unplug - whatever you want to call it. An important part of our mental health is relaxing and switching off from work. If we don't allow ourselves to do this, it can seriously affect our mental well-being and the quality of our work.
It's so important to relax at the end of a hard day at work, or at the weekend when we're not at work. We need to give our minds time to recover to be ready for whatever comes along in the future.
When you are relaxing, you're giving your mind time to think about things that aren't related to work or any other stressors in your life. This way, you're able to make space in your head for new thoughts and ideas that can help you feel better or even help with your career. You need time away from things that stress you out so that you are refreshed and ready for them once again.
Humans are not robots! We're emotional beings who need time away from stressful situations in order to keep functioning well and efficiently. If we try pretending like we don't have emotional needs, then our mental health will suffer as a result!