How to Unplug from Work in the New Year

How to Unplug from Work in the New Year

Now that 2020 is here, it is the perfect time to reassess our priorities. We might work from 9 am to 5 pm every day, but we need to understand the importance of unplugging from work, too. This can be harder than we think, as we find ourselves thinking about all of the work that we have to catch up on or complete before we head back to work. Unplugging from work is imperative all year round because without a healthy work and home life balance, you can lose sight of what matters. We need to let go of the poor work ethic of the previous years and start prioritising what matters most for ourselves and our business.

In a recent study, it was found that long work hours increase your chances of early death by 20%. That’s terrifying, right? This is why it is so crucial that you don’t overwork yourself. Even when you’re not in the office, you might still have your ‘work head’ on; meaning you’re sat at home thinking about all of the work that you have to do, checking emails or even completing projects while sitting on the sofa with your partner.

For our advice on how to unplug from work and avoid the same poor work ethic from last year, continue reading this blog post. It’s essential that you distance yourself from work over the weekends, holidays and when at home, otherwise, you put your mental and physical health at risk, as well as miss vital family time. 

Push Yourself to Leave the Office

The first thing that you can do to ensure that you start prioritising yourself is to leave the office when contracted to. It is merely impossible to switch off your work brain if you are in the office still doing work past 6 pm. Also, if you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, it can be even harder to not overwork as you might not necessarily stick to office hours; by giving yourself a working pattern, you reduce the risk of overworking, as well as causing yourself stress from now having any downtime.

It’s time to be proactive during your regular working hours so that you complete your tasks on time, and also learn to accept that you can pick up extra tasks the day after. If you aren’t as productive during the day, you might feel that you need to stay later to finish projects and meet deadlines. This can not only cause you to stress, but it can also make it harder for you to unplug from work while at home, too.

Stanford economics professor John Pencavel found that productivity falls sharply after a 50-hour workweek. If we want to be producing work of the best standard, we need to set boundaries; the longer we stay in the office, the more comfortable we get working long hours. This is bad for our mental health as it steers your mind away from ever fully relaxing; making us mentally exhausted and overworked. Don’t slip into old, bad habits – if you are scheduled to finish at 5 pm, make sure that this is the time that you leave the office so that you can start focusing on yourself at home.

Avoid Non-Important Emails

The Centre for Creative Leadership found that smartphone users spend five hours on work emails every weekend. And with 3.3 billion of us owning a smartphone, it will be hard to find one single person in your office without one. As it is so normal to be carrying our phones around with us, it’s not a surprise that even when we are sat at home and an email pops up, we feel the need to check it and reply. 

Maybe there is a pressing matter at work that you need to deal with or you’re waiting to hear back from your manager, either way, it can wait until the next morning. When you’re at home, you should be focusing your time on yourself, not work. But, with your emails so easy to access, it’s so easy for you to be gripped into doing so after work and on weekends. While at home, try to leave your phone in an area that you still go in, but one that you don’t spend most of your time in; this way, you can still check it on passing, but you won’t be consistently sat there flicking through emails.

If you receive an email after work hours or when you are on holiday, you can set up an automated email response which informs people that you are away from the office, and when you will be back. Not only is this helpful to your clients and colleagues, but it can also stop you from feeling the need to reply straight away.

Start a New Hobby to Unplug From Work

Let go of your bad work ethic of 2019 and make real change in 2020 by prioritising yourself and your mental health. Sometimes we work from home or stay extra hours in the office because we have nothing else to occupy our minds with; if we live alone, it can be especially lonely and boring. Or maybe we are going through a situation which makes us avoid being at home alone. Picking up a hobby which forces us to leave work on time can help us unplug from work and be happier in life.

Hobbies can include anything from a reading club and a sports team to even attending a crafts group. Whatever you have a mild interest in, there will most likely be a club for it somewhere nearby. This gives you the perfect opportunity to focus on something other than work, and really take the time out to do something that you love; thus, practising self-care. Begin looking online for clubs; in local newspapers, online and on shop notice boards will be your best bet. 

Explore the rest of our website today to learn more about Mountain Summit and the importance of leadership within the workplace. Unplugging from work is vital for every employee, no matter their role, but being a leader, it can sometimes come with extra pressure. By learning how to unplug from work and educating your team in doing the same, you’ll encourage harder work in the office and happier employees in and out of work. 

Mountain Summit’s personal development programme can help you develop on your skills as a leader, as well as shed light on what you should prioritise this year in order to become a great leader.

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