With the holidays just around the corner, some of us can take some time off to spend with our families and friends. Nevertheless, we can get caught up in urgent work-related topics or responsibilities, that make it harder to truly disconnect from work.
Writing and engaging on LinkedIn can also prevent us from truly disconnecting from how we work. I use LinkedIn on a daily basis, both as a work tool and to share content. I tend to use it even when I am supposed to be taking some time off, as I don’t wish to lose engagement with my network. However, this lack of disconnection can also blur the line between our daily life as a professional, and our personal life — particularly when we’re trying to enjoy ourselves outside of work.
According to the Spillover theory, our participation in work will naturally affect our participation in other aspects of our daily life — and vice-versa. Unplugging from our professional settings can be helpful to our personal lives, because:
- It frees time (and mental space) to take up other activities, such as learning a musical instrument, or go rock-climbing (whatever floats your boat);
- It allows you to get more rest, as you’re no longer bound to your usual fixed schedule;
- You get to spend time with the people you love: learning what they’ve been up to, doing fun activities together;
- You can travel to new locations, meet new cultures, and enjoy new perspectives on life.
Traditionally, people who can unplug during their time off and indulge in other activities (such as running, singing, travelling) are more productive and satisfied at work in the long run.
Unplugging during our days off helps preserve our health, since prolonged exposure to stress can increase our risk for health conditions — such as heart conditions, or burnout. Besides, people who take in other activities — learning something new or travelling to different places — are more prone to bringing fresher perspectives and approaches to everyday challenges.
We traditionally focus on disconnecting during our days off, but it is also important to unplug throughout the day. Here’s what you can do:
- Take breaks during the day - to walk, exercise, read, or meditate.
- Maintain a fixed schedule, avoiding working late.
- Engage in hobbies throughout the week, such as music lessons, going to the gym, or having weekly reunions with your friends.
- Turn off work-related notifications while you’re not working.
Unplugging is essential to preserve our health and to increase creativity and productivity. For me, unplugging is difficult: for the past few years, I’ve worked on a few side-projects (such as tutoring), and I would still engage in those tasks in my time off. Old habits are hard to break, but I believe it is definitely worth it.
I’ll be having a few days off while celebrating Christmas and New Year. While I truly enjoy writing and sharing content on LinkedIn, I will refrain myself from doing so while I’m resting.
I will come back with new stories to share, and motivated to pursue my goals.