How to switch off work over your break

December 2020 (1)

This year has been a whirlwind. Many people have dived deep into work whilst they work from home, some of them start earlier, and work later, unable to fully disconnect from the workday or take proper breaks. It’s so easy to be connected all the time with email on our phones and our laptops with us wherever we go!

As the holidays come around, it’s important we all take the time to get some respite, and re-charge, for a new year with new goals and work to do.

For those of you who may struggle to disconnect and rest, this blog is for you. Here are the best ways to switch off work over the break, to make sure you avoid burnout, enjoy family time and come back to work refreshed!

Leave that phone alone

This is kind of a hard one, as we are all connected to work through our phones, we are also connected socially and may need to keep in touch with family or use our phone as a camera.

Some tips to help you avoid picking up the phone and checking your emails could look like:

  • When with family and you have nowhere else to be, turn on aeroplane mode.

  • Sign out of work applications.

  • Turn of notifications for work related apps like email or Microsoft Teams.

  • Place your phone face down and on a high shelf, check only occasionally.

Delegate before you go on break

If you have skeleton staff over this holiday period, make sure you speak to them and handover any items that may need addressing whilst your away. With proper communication and detail of any given task, you can relieve any stress of worrying about work that couldn’t be complete before you left.

If you have no other staff available, inform your colleague or client when you will be back and your plan to complete the project or task upon your return. This means, they know not to enquire or hassle you whilst you’re away, and you set a healthy boundary and expectation.

Be productive leading up to your holiday

To ensure a little as possible needs to be done whilst your away, try to get to everything that needs to be complete before or whilst you’re on break. This can look like:

  • Delegating tasks as mentioned above.

  • Completing any nearby project milestones.

  • Making a to-do list for when you return.

  • Informing others of your time away.

  • Cleaning up your inbox.

  • Setting up your out of office email.

Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’

Don’t take on stress of a project or request that you know won’t be accomplished in the time frame you have. Again, delegate this task to any skeleton staff if it is urgent. You could say something like:

“Unfortunately, I am on leave after today and don’t think I will be able to complete this by end of day. If you need this urgently addressed you can contact ‘X’, his/her email is Otherwise I will be happy to help when I return!”

Make sure to inform any staff that you are allotting work to them.

Be present

Find a moment each day during your break to just appreciate where you are and what surrounds you. Take in the sights, smells, sounds and plant yourself in that moment. This can assist in helping ease worries about the past or future and allows you to relax and enjoy the time and space you are currently in.

Your work is enabling you to be on this break and you deserve and need it. Don’t get caught up worrying about work, but rather enjoy the time with family and friends. All work needs can be addressed later and don’t need your immediate attention, especially at the end of the year. Remember why you work.

No matter how much you love your job, it’s important that we find the balance and make time for ourselves and our home lives as these are the moments we often cherish and remember forever. ​

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