Switch-Off: Make The Most of Down-Time

This digitised world we live in has a tendency to blur the boundaries between work time and personal time. Our professional lives stray ever further from the confines of the 'office' with every late-night inbox check, or phone call taken on the weekend or on vacation.

It is no big revelation that sufficient ‘switch-off’ time results in higher production levels. We are more creative, more enthusiastic and more clear-headed when we have had a mental refresh. We all recognise that we get exhausted, drained and grumpy when we forgo deliberate downtime.

Frazzling our brains and declaring ourselves 'too busy' is no longer the way to climb the career ladder. So close down your laptop in the name of productivity, as we have 5 steps to ensure a blissfully zen weekend.

 1.  Limit Your Phone Time

If you’re good at switching off your laptop at the weekend, but still struggling to consciously uncouple from your phone, then you need to practice some strict rules to limit your phone time. Leave it at home while you go for a long walk or out to a social event.

If you enjoy taking pictures with your phone, but don’t want to be sucked down a social media rabbit hole, try the aptly named ‘Freedom’ app. It allows you to block your phone’s internet access for a set period of time, allowing you the ‘freedom’ from all-consuming distractions such as social media platforms.

2.  Break Your Inbox Reflex

Somewhere along the way, checking your inbox became as automatic as breathing, and unsurprisingly, emails are not conducive to a weekend of mental refresh. To break the cycle, give yourself a set amount of ‘email time’ for the weekend.

Make it no more than half an hour per day and if you feel tempted to check your phone after that, resolve to do something more relaxing instead.

3.  Treat Your Body

If you are a weekday gym goer use the weekend to move your body in a different way. Take a slow walk, a short yoga class or opt for a massage instead of a workout.

Aim to move slower this weekend and treat your body with kindness. 

4.  Bury Yourself In A Fun Task

There’s no better way to switch off from work than immersing yourself in something hands-on and fun.

Cooking can be surprisingly meditative, or hop to the garden centre to buy some indoor greenery. Why not try getting creative with craft and joining a pottery class or learning to knit? Whatever you've been wishing you had time to do, lock up your laptop and do it this weekend!

5. Book a weekend away.

If you are looking for a way to really get away from it all then a mini vacation is the answer. Try a new destination and book in some outdoor activities and delicious meals. If you find somewhere that has minimal WiFi then you will have no choice but to relax screen free!