Due to the amazing technology on the markets these days many people find themselves taking their work home with them. Whether it be emailing from your iphone, typing up a report on your home computer or answering work calls on your mobile wherever you are; odds are the lack of distinction between your work life and personal life is stressing you out or draining you both mentally and physically. If you regularly find yourself doing these things during your family, friends, or personal time, it is important you learn how to ‘switch off’ from the office.

The mental ability to ‘switch off’ is not just about putting away the gadgets; it’s about tuning out from all of those work related thoughts that occupy your mind. It is important to do this in order to relax. An unstressed person will usually be more productive in the office as well as a more peaceful person to be around. Research has shown that good ideas and problem solving skills generally come to those who are relaxed; this is because you allow the creative side of your brain to open up. It is important that you get a good amount of sleep each night as well, not only does it allow your mind to recharge but also helps the body to rebuild itself.

Shutting work out of your mind is not an easy thing for many people and there are many effective strategies that don’t involve depriving yourself of technology or work colleagues. It is a good idea to substitute your ‘work style’ routines with different activities, or to allocate certain times where you have to do an activity that will not only keep you distracted from thinking about work, but will also use different parts of your brain. When picking an activity try to do something different from what you do at work. For example, if you sit on a computer all day, computer games or TV will not be as much of a change as going for a walk in the park or going out for a few drinks with friends.

Research has shown that being in good physical shape increases your tolerance to stress; and while doing vigorous exercise your brain won’t focus on other things. So, get your heart pumping and the good endorphins flowing and make time to go to the gym at lunch, walk the dog or play soccer with the kids. Exercise combined with healthy eating will improve your general well being, thus helping you to relax easier and ‘switch off’ from work.

Try drawing, painting, playing music or anything to enhance your creative mind. These types of activities counteract your work-associated stress since the 2 functions are on different sides of the brain. Some other good ideas to help you ‘switch off’ from work include:

•   Going out with friends
•   Watching a movie
•   Meditation
•   Losing yourself in your favourite music album
•   Golf weekend with the boys
•   Simply planning a holiday
•   A holiday!

The most important thing is to make sure that you keep ‘switching off’ activities to outside office hours! Making an effort to switch off in your personal time is a great idea, but not many bosses would be happy with ‘switching off’ on their time.

If none of the strategies mentioned help you to mentally take some time away from the office then consider lowering your work load or hiring a professional to fulfill parts of your role for you. Here at The Quinn Group our experienced team of lawyers, accountants and financial planners can help relieve the pressures of working life, whether it be doing your tax return for you to assisting with employment law issues or doing the bookkeeping in your office. To find out more about ‘switching off’ submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to book an appointment.