Posted by Sophie Knox on 20 December 2013
So many of us yearn for time off work to spend with family and friends, but when it comes to being away from the office, switching off is hard to do. Let’s look at how to move to holiday mode from work mode in no time at all.
A recent survey conducted by Jive Software of 1,000 Aussie workers revealed that 50 per cent of employees admitted to checking in at the office either remotely or physically while on leave, with 42 per cent saying they did a full day’s work over their leave period. Things can get stressful when work starts to dominate your life, but even worse when you can’t switch off when you take leave. Here are a few tips on how to relax as quickly as possible.
Step away from the smartphone
That’s right, put it down. Switch it off. Give it to your children. Whatever it takes, try not to refresh that inbox feed for as long as possible. Emergencies notwithstanding, there should be no reason to keep checking your work email over the Christmas break. It’s the time when 99 per cent of businesses are in their slowest, quietest mode of the year, so embrace it! One of the challenges is that most of us use our smartphones to keep in touch with not only our work life, but our private life too, so it’s a slippery slope. Once you’re using your phone, it’s hard to switch the work mode off altogether, so for some people not using it at all is the best option.
Wrap up your work commitments
It sounds obvious, but some workers find it hard to complete every task before breaking up for holidays. Make it your goal to wrap up loose ends before your last day, informing colleagues where you’re at with projects then switching on your out-of-office reply on all devices. It might mean making a checklist a few weeks before the holidays start or allocating a certain period of wrap-up time each day in the lead-up to your break, but it will be worth it.
Plan a non-work activity
If you want to fast track into holiday mode, plan to do something that’s completely unrelated to work on your first day off. Go to the beach, meet friends for a picnic, take your kids to the zoo, buy a new book or magazine to kick off the beginning of the break – whatever the activity, make it entirely different to your working day so the transition to relaxation mode happens instantly.
Last resort? Head to a health spa or retreat in a regional area where smartphones, digital devices and contact with the outside world is either forbidden or restricted. That way, you have no choice. Get into the swing of relaxing by doing yoga, bush walking and cooking all in an environment that’s completely removed from your everyday life.
By not relaxing at all, you’re putting yourself at risk of burnout, so do yourself and your family a favour. Put work to bed while you have the opportunity. In your older years, it’s unlikely you’ll even remember all those hours you put in at work. You’ll likely be more grateful for the time you spent with your nearest and dearest.
Need some more tips? Read our article on how to bring work life balance back into your life.