Today’s busy, “always on”, digital lifestyles can make it hard to disconnect from work. But we know achieving a good work-life balance requires us to really switch off at the end of the working day.
What are the reasons why so many people struggle to switch off? Business Optimizer offers some insightful tips to help you disconnect from work and find a better life balance.
A group of friends meet after work in a local bar. When they arrive, they put their digital devices in the centre of the table. The first one to pick up their phone buys the next round of drinks.
While this strategy might not work for all of us, the behaviour of these friends does shed some light on just how difficult it can be to put down our digital devices. And how much we’re all really craving to be “in the moment”.
Unfortunately, we’re used to carry our phones with us wherever we go and checking on them at all times of day – and this makes it really hard to switch off.
Take a break
Last month, Business Optimizer considered surprising findings from researcher Charlotte Fritz of Portland State University, whose 2012 study showed that the non-work-related microbreaks did not help people to feel energised. Rather, it was work related breaks that boosted productivity.
Fritz acknowledges the need to switch off completely, but her research suggested that this should be saved for when you get home.
However, switching off after a busy and demanding day at work can be easier said than done. We’ve collected some of the best expert tips to help you switch off after a hard day work and achieve a better work-life balance.
How to switch off
#1. Start unwinding half an hour before you are due to leave the office. End your day with tasks that set you up for a good start the following day.
#2. Finish your working day with some exercise: head to the gym or cycle home. As well as creating a “hard stop” to your day, exercise will reward you with some mood-boosting endorphins.
#3. Cultivate healthy relaxing rituals – for example, taking a bath or meditating.
#4. Nourish your mind. Rather than turning on the TV, actively participate in your entertainment. Reading is an ideal way to unwind – offering you peace and calm, while also providing an opportunity to learn something new.
#5. Reach out to friends. After a long commute, heading back out of the house to meet up with friends might be the last thing you want to do, but long-term happiness and good mental health depends on these important personal relationships. For their sake and yours – nurture them.
#6. Make time for family. Don’t rely on screen time to bond: go low-fi with your quality family time and spend time outdoors, at the park, or inside playing a board game. It is surprising how refreshing it can be to step away from the screen and chill out – and how much more rejuvenated you will feel as a result.
Whatever you choose to do, the key is to create a relaxing ritual that tells your mind and body the working day is over.
Creating a “hard stop” to your working day is just one of the habits the world’s most successful billionaires share. Discover the others here.