Productivity Tip: Are You Working When You Should Be Relaxing?

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Image of phrase "working is not equal to relaxing"It’s the weekend. You’re relaxing at home when all of a sudden you decide to check your email. You tell yourself, “I’ll just take a quick look; five minutes, no more.”

Unfortunately, those five minutes quickly turn into fifteen, into twenty-five, into fifty…

I hate to break it to you, but you’ve crossed into the world of working. That’s the antithesis of a relaxing, restful weekend, no?

Today’s post seeks to help you nip these types of situations in the bud so you can fully recharge your batteries for the work week.

Set up an off-duty routine.

When you’re at the office or working, there’s usually certain things you do to start your day, such as logging in to your computer, pulling out your supplies or materials and so on. When it comes to relaxing at home, you should also have series of steps or actions that you perform that let you know you’re off the clock. You could stow away your work bags and clothes and then enjoy your favorite beverage, or catch the latest episode of your favorite TV show or reach for the latest book by your favorite bestselling author. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something you will look forward to doing and that says to you, “I’m officially in relaxation mode!”

Completely and totally disconnect.

Completely turn off all of your electronic devices; no putting items to sleep or switching them to airplane mode, that’s cheating! If it is a small mobile device that is tempting you, store the item away in a hard to reach place. If you’re really tempted you’ll rush to retrieve said items, ask someone in your household to temporarily hide your device.

Enlist the help of loved ones.

Ask friends and family to help you and remind you of your pledge to not work when at home. You might ask them to gently remind you when you’re hovering near your computer or starting to reach for your cell phone. Other ideas include trying a family power-off day where everyone turns off their devices, or a get together with your closest friends that is strictly no electronic devices (turn off your devices as soon as you’re all together) so you can fully enjoy one another’s company.

Go to a place where there’s little to no cell or internet service.

If the temptation of being connected is too great, use the old standby of traveling to a place where there’s no cell or internet connectivity. Take a trip to the mountains, the lake, the beach, or just hang out in a local area that’s notorious for poor connectivity (you probably know where these spots are). If you’re traveling a distance or to a real remote location, it’s always good idea to be safe and to tell others of your plans and when to expect you back home or hear from you.

Now to you… do you ever feel the urge to check in on one little thing at work? Or do you leave your work at work? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.