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The importance of disconnecting from work

According to medical studies, stress is one of the main reasons for ailments in adults. The pressures we put on ourselves in the workplace can result in both short- and long-term health issues. They can also affect relationships with our loved ones. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Learning how to disconnect from work and focus on the present moment can help anyone attain a better work-life balance. Here are some useful tips you can use in your everyday life.

Establishing your boundaries

In order to sustain a good work-life balance, and maintain healthy separation between working hours and life away from work, it is essential to create proper boundaries. The earlier in your career you set the norm, the easier it will be to respect those boundaries. And the easier it will be for you to disconnect from work.

Electronic devices

Adults spend nearly 10 hours per day looking at several screens and while most of this time can be assigned to work, it still leaves numerous hours where we are staring at screens for our own personal reasons. It is crucial to take a break from these devices but that is difficult when we don’t even realize how much we use them. Some apps can track screen usage, delivering useful insights.

Make sure you disconnect at least an hour before bedtime, if not longer. Screens emit blue light which restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep cycle. Choose to read a book before bed, or listen to soothing music without looking at a screen will deliver tangible benefits. Needless to say, do not take any sort of work to bed under any circumstances – hence the need to unplug your devices early enough.

Spending time alone

Spending time alone helps you to manage and regulate difficult emotions and thoughts, free from the opinions and judgements of others. Take some quiet time in the evening to reflect on your day and your feelings. Remember: everyone needs some time to recharge.

Learning something new

Engaging in inspiring activities outside of the office can help us to disconnect from work. It can also foster creativity and be highly beneficial. Learning a new language, learning how to play the guitar, taking up a gym class… find ways to engage in an activity that is as removed from work as possible.

Taking the vacation you have accrued and getting the break from work will do you a world of good. It is perhaps the easiest way to really disconnect from work. Before your holiday, make sure you finish your outstanding projects and leave clear instructions for colleagues who will be covering your workload.

This will serve two key purposes. It will minimise the need for anyone to contact you whilst you are away; and more importantly perhaps, it will put your mind at rest and set the scene for a pleasant break.

Knowing when to say no

Your career success does not depend on how often you agree to do additional work. If you cannot take on the extra workload, learn to say so. Respectfully decline and offer other workable solutions to the person making the request. Ultimately, it is for you to set up your own boundaries with your long-term well-being firmly in sight.

Technology

Nowadays, everybody has access to emails, texts and phone calls pretty much 24/7. Gone are the days when such availability was seen as a blessing! The new 24/7 culture enabled by technology is a real threat to everyone’s well-being. The first crucial step is to recognize this.

It is totally okay to set autoresponders to let people know when you will return to work. You shouldn’t have to apologise for being away – this should in fact be celebrated. Simply let people know you will be away and tell them who to contact for urgent matters.

If anything, you might be surprised how positively people actually react to your holiday.

 

At 514 Media, we recognize the need to disconnect. We feel it makes us a better consultative partner to our clients. It also helps us bring fresher ideas to B2B technologies. We can therefore recommend new approaches to achieve our clients’ marketing goals, adding measurable value to their bottom line. To find out more about how we can help you, simply email: [email protected]-media.com