Are you one of more than 60% of people who can’t switch off?

IT solutions can offer huge benefits to how we work. There’s the opportunity to automate tasks, set reminders so important deadlines aren’t missed, projects can be managed remotely and staff have the opportunity to work flexibly utilising internet-based solutions.

Increasingly, however, these benefits are becoming millstones around the necks of those people who make the best use of them.

Instead of watching Netflix with your family, you find yourself watching your mobile phone or tablet for alerts from servers or upset office staff that “can’t connect to the file server” anymore. Dinner is no longer the opportunity to catch up with friends and family, but it is used as ‘spare’ time to catch up with work emails while dreading another system alert is coming.

According to the Chartered Management Institute, Managers work the equivalent of an extra 29 days a year in unofficial overtime and home working which cancels out their holiday entitlement. The same survey found that 61% of respondents blamed mobile technology for not allowing them to switch off from work.

IT is a solution, but don’t let it spoil your down time. Try these tips the next time you find yourself reaching for your tech when you should be relaxing:

– Accept your limits – do your best every day but realise you can’t do it all. Write a daily task list for tomorrow before you leave work – with a pen and paper.  The act of writing things down will clear your mind and reassure you that you’re in control.

– Get some exercise – burn off work stress whilst burning calories and increasing your feel-good endorphins.

– Get a hobby – any hobby is likely to move your mind away from work and focus on something creative to relax.

– Edit (and ideally ditch) your smartphone – delete work related apps and information.  If you have to access these on your phone, consider having a second phone for work or at least remove push notifications.  

– Cook a fresh meal – organise ingredients and transform them into a healthy meal.  You’ll find it’s a great stressbuster.  Concentrating on another task will stop you worrying about work and you’ll be eating healthily.

– Don’t rely on booze to help you unwind – too much alcohol can cause anxiety and make you feel worse instead of better. 

– Get some fresh air – head out, take in the view, keep your phone in your pocket (or at home), make sure any conversations don’t include work and allow your mind to take in a fresh perspective.

– Read a book that’s unrelated to business – great fiction can transport you to another world.  Try reading an actual book instead of a screen-based reader to help you unwind.

Mintivo is a local, leading IT services provider based in Chippenham which helps ambitious organisations by delivering corporate IT services for the SME, and we understand the many benefits the right IT solutions can offer, but we also know the pitfalls. If you’d like a chat over a coffee (no phones or tablets) about how we can help you with proactive support and out of hours monitoring and maintenance of IT systems, please get in touch.  

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