It’s almost Christmas and we at Athena will be having a break. The team will be disconnecting and enjoying some quality time with our friends and families until Monday 18th January 2021.
Over the last couple of posts, I’ve mentioned the importance of disconnecting from work and your devices and reconnecting with the people who are important to you. I’ve had lots of feedback from you agreeing with me, saying that the pandemic had made them realise how much they value the people around them. Now is the time to walk your talk.
Here are some suggestions on how to do it.
1. Set boundaries with work.
A couple of years ago, researchers in the US investigated the reasons why Americans were taking less or shorter vacations than ever. The main reason was cost, but the second reason was “inability to disconnect from work.” It’s not much different here. You need to be comfortable when you switch off and that means doing some prep before you go on holidays.
- Define your boundaries – ensure you have a ‘do not contact’ policy in place.
- Delegate work – it’s the holiday season so there won’t be a lot coming in but to ease your mind, make sure there’s someone covering your role for you.
- Give yourself access time – if you need to check your work or your emails, do it within set hours of the day, such as for an hour in the morning before everyone gets up.
2. Switch off your devices and put them away.
It’s too easy to take out your mobile without consciously thinking about it and then to be sucked into social media or your emails. If your devices are turned off, they can’t ping you. If they are put away in another room, they aren’t within easy reach. If you must physically get up to retrieve them, it will help you remind you of why you don’t have them close by.
I do appreciate that we now use our phones for calls, texts and social media, but also as a wallet and electronic drivers licence! So, if leaving your phone it home is simply unrealistic, why not turn off your email on your phone completely. I even move the email icon to the very back page of my iPhone so it is completely out of mind. Of course, I do know where to find it if I desperately needed it, but the temptation is gone.
3. Go outside.
Take your family and friends outdoors. Not only will you spend time together, but you’ll also gradually start to feel the rhythm of nature which will help you relax. Somehow nothing else is important when you can see smiles on the faces of the people you love, hear the wind in the trees or see the stars in the sky. Sharing these moments with the people you love is something none of you will forget.
4. Justify it.
If you’re really struggling to walk the talk, look for the positives behind the decision. Apart from reconnecting with people, you’re recharging your physical batteries. We need to take a break so our brains can slow down, our minds can calm, and our bodies can heal. Taking a break from your devices removes an immense pressure and helps you go back to work, refreshed, focused and better able to do the job.
5. Look at the people around you.
I mean, really look at them. Remember what it is that you love about them. You’ve probably promised a dozen times to spend quality time with them. NOW is that time. If there’s one thing COVID-19 showed us, it’s the uncertainty of life. The people you love and who love you are your treasures, and they are worth every moment of your time.
This year do what the Athena team is doing. We’re walking our talk. Join with us to disconnect from work and reconnect with your people.
Happy holidays to you. We’ll see you bright and energised in the new year. It’s going to be a great one!