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October 14, 2022 (Updated March 7th, 2023)

How to switch off from work: 4 ways to enjoy the weekend

by Ross McGee posted in Lifestyle, Mental Health, Organize, Productivity.

Ayoa | How to switch off from work: 4 ways to enjoy the weekend
You’ve probably heard that working out too much leads to fatigue and even injury, and training progress is slower as a result. Well, the same can be said for our minds. The human brain consumes around 20% of the body’s calories, and that expended energy must be resupplied. If we overwork our brains by not giving them a high quantity and quality of rest, we burn out. This means weakened productivity and poorer choices – not to mention a negative impact on our mental health. Luckily, Ayoa is on hand to help you switch off from work properly over the weekend so you can be more productive during the week.
Urgency and Importance Icons

1) Clear high-priority tasks

Nobody wants to go into the weekend knowing they have high-priority tasks outstanding. If they do, knowing how to unwind is sure to be a tricky task in itself. The knowledge of that you will either have to deal with them at the weekend, when you should be resting, or add them to your ever-growing to-do list for next week is enough to stop you relaxing after work.

So you can truly switch of from work, try to clear your priorities early in the working week by honestly reviewing your tasks and highlighting high-priority ones using the urgency and importance icons within Ayoa. This will keep you focused so you can work through tasks methodically. If you have too many high-priority tasks to deal with, don’t be afraid to call for backup. By assigning tasks to teammates and working collaboratively with them to get things done, you can start the weekend safe in the knowledge that the week’s most important work has been dealt with.

Progress Bar and Checklists

2) Tie up loose ends

With your priorities taken care of, think of all the in-progress tasks that you’re currently managing. Do you know how close to completion each task is? Often, we get distracted towards the end of a task and forget how close we were to completing it. Then it just festers on our to-do lists for much longer than necessary. Alternatively, a meandering task lingering in the back of your mind can be difficult to mentally switch off from.

By checking the progress bar, you can easily see which tasks are very close to completion. If the task has been left unfinished for a while and your memory of it is a little fuzzy or its stagnant progress is concerning, you can glance at any checklists you might have made to remind yourself of what steps you’ve already taken towards completing it. You’ve already prioritised your most urgent and important tasks, so you can now do yourself a favour by tying up loose ends. Then you can have a totally fresh start next week.

Start and Due Dates

3) Plan and prepare

You’ve prioritised and tied up loose ends, but there’s still something missing. The weekend is drawing nearer, yet you’re still anxious. You need a plan for your task management. You need to do something right now that your future self will thank you for.

Take a look at your remaining tasks and start planning priorities for next week. Set start and due dates for each task so that on Monday morning you will know exactly when to start each task and what deadlines are coming up. As you do so, your calendar will be automatically updated, meaning your schedule is crystal clear for you to review on Monday. By planning and preparing now, you can relax after work and straight through the whole weekend knowing that everything is under control for the week ahead.

A tidy work from home desk

4) Unplug from work

When working from home, the phrase unplug from work” couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to “how to switch off from work” (so too is that phrase!). Having no doubt spent the day with little companionship apart from screens, the best way to relax after working from home is to disconnect from the digital and reconnect with the real.

Creating such a division is by no means easy though when so many devices which are tied to work are easily accessible. In order to switch of from work whilst working from home, one of the best things to do therefore is to go beyond removing yourself from a work state of mind, to replacing it with something else. This way an alternative energy is in play rather than a void which is conveniently in the same shape of your work mindset, which is just waiting to slip back in.

To put the foundations in place for this, firstly signal the end of your working day/ week by tidying your desk and putting stuff away. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a principle which can be really effective here. With your work physically out of your head, the next thing to do is to extract it metaphorically too. Any future to-dos or lingering job concerns can rattle non-stop over the weekend unless you know they’re safely stored somewhere for you to pick up later. In Ayoa, Capture Maps act as the perfect medium for building what is known as a “worry map”. With the ability to literally capture thoughts as quickly as they spring into your mind, with capture maps you can lay out all of your work thoughts on an infinite digital blanket, bundle them up and put them away for the weekend.

An Ayoa Capture Map of work concerns on a laptop

With work concerns officially wrapped up, now is the time for the real division to take place. Carrying on with removing worries, why not do some exercise to shake off any stress you might have and usher in endorphins, or get outside and take a walk in nature to lower your cortisol levels. Alternatively, you could engage in some arts & crafts, or cook dinner – both activities are a project of sorts but ones you can enjoy on a different level in comparison to work.

Knowing how to switch off from work is by no means an easy task given that you work hard to develop a career which consumes most of your day. However, to be at the best your worked hard to achieve, and to be the best you can be for yourself and others, retracting from work in a healthy manner is a must.

Optimise your time inside and outside of work with the help of Ayoa by signing up for a free trial today!

Ross McGee

Ross studied English Literature at Cardiff University, enjoying the rich diversity of perspectives and experiences which texts presented to be analysed. Graduation took him into a marketing role where consideration of various interpretations and drivers could be continued. Today his interest in understanding different standpoints has turned into a passion for supporting neurodiversity - a catalyst for alternative, creative thinking and societal breakthroughs.

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