I have just come back from ten days in the lovely Mijas, Spain with family. It was amazing and really relaxing - great to get away from all the hustle and bustle of "normal" life for a bit.
However I did find that it took me a good few days to fully "unplug" from thinking about work, whether it was a coding problem at the back of my mind, worrying that I'd miss important team changes or even just miss out on the Slack banter! This also made me realise that it actually impacts my weekends sometimes, this struggle to unplug. I have always tried to live in a balanced way whereby I "work to live" rather than "live to work" (though of course both are important and I always give my best while at work).
Does anyone else have this issue? How do you minimise it and stop it from spoiling your down time?
Top comments (5)
I do have this issue. I find that with weekends in particular, if there's something on my mind I'll spend some extra time Friday evening to put it off of my radar the rest of the weekend.
It's a bit of an unhealthy thing, but it's also a symptom that I am engaged and enjoy what I do.
Glad it's not just me - yes I'm certainly not trying to advocate it as a good thing - I guess I could have worded the question as "how do you make it easier to unplug". :)
1000% struggle with this as well. I have a tendency to worry about what I'm missing, how much work I'll have upon return, or that there's something critical I'm needed for.
One mantra that has helped me and that I pass on to every new hire I onboard is "The world will continue to turn." By that, I mean it might feel like work rests solely on your shoulders, at the end of the day, work will continue to move forward. It's a little weird to tell myself (in not so many words) that I'm not as important as I think I am but it's honestly helped me pull back from work when I leave for the day/for vacation. It also helps that I have leaders who take long vacations and it becomes easier to tell myself that if they can leave for a month and our team doesn't descend into chaos, surely I can enjoy this weekend without checking my email or staying that extra hour on an especially pretty summer day :)
(I recognize this works since I'm at a large company so your mileage may vary here!)
Keeping communication notifications off my phone has also done wonders. I still have the ability to check in on a thread or email chain BUT I don't get that angry red dot telling me about it all the time. It's strictly MY choice to open the application and sometimes, all you need is the ability to be ABLE to check in without being constantly bombarded by it.
At the end of the day, this is something I have actually worked really diligently at for the last 4 years so I'll sign off by saying it just takes time to establish the pattern of thinking needed to unplug more easily - I'm still working on it myself! Try some tips and see what works for you! Best of luck 😁
Thank you for your honesty and practical advice :) You're so right - the world does (and in my case did!) keep turning.
Update: I should add that ‘plugging back in’ today at work was just as much of a struggle!!