Five minute’s with Longford spoken word artist Felispeaks
Five minute’s with Longford spoken word artist Felispeaks

Lauren Heskin

Freshen up your bedroom with our pick of sheets, from earthy and rustic to crisp and clean
Freshen up your bedroom with our pick of sheets, from earthy and rustic to crisp...

Megan Burns

What to do if you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout
What to do if you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout

IMAGE

Does anyone actually enjoy office Zoom drinks? The experts weigh in on alternatives
Does anyone actually enjoy office Zoom drinks? The experts weigh in on alternatives

Filomena Kaguako

Wild Mountain Thyme: ‘Begorra begosh Americans! Good luck and goodbye’
Wild Mountain Thyme: ‘Begorra begosh Americans! Good luck and goodbye’

Edaein OConnell

The unexpected benefit lockdown is having on our children
The unexpected benefit lockdown is having on our children

Amanda Cassidy

Small furniture ideas to make a teeny tiny space feel big
Small furniture ideas to make a teeny tiny space feel big

Lauren Heskin

Image / Editorial

Unable to ‘switch off’ during the summer holidays? This will help


by Jennifer McShane
25th Jul 2019
blank

With summer comes the holidays and the gloriousness that is our Out of Office. But so many of us struggle to leave our work behind. So much so, the bulk of us never really do switch off. Career psychologist Sinéad Brady says learning Cognitive Shutdown is key if we are to feel rested over our annual leave. 


“Cognitive Shutdown is giving yourself permission to take the time that you need to rest, relax and recalibrate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis,” Sinéad explains.

“We need this skill because we have what I call ‘downtime guilt.’ This is an overt focus on a singular type of productivity and the feeling that we should always operate at 100%, always leaning in. This means any time off, time out or time pursuing other parts of life is considered as not being productive and should be coupled with a feeling of guilt.”

To combat this, Sinéad says we need to re-evaluate at how we view productivity, looking at it in a more multi-faceted way.

“Productivity is not just about getting things done it is about taking time out so that you recharge your batteries to be fit and healthy in body and mind to be the best version of yourself both personally and professionally.” 

“This means that sometimes the most productive thing you can do is take a break,” she continued.

Applying Cognitive Shutdown 

“Cognitive Shutdown is simple but takes time to put into practice. It is your way of signalling to your brain that it is time to switch from one part of your life to the other.”

“One really easy way of doing this is to have a different routine for going to work and a different routine coming home. On your morning commute, you might listen to the news, catch up on emails, make work-related calls, set out your results list, write your to-do list and name your not to do list, or read the news headlines. On your way home, you alter your routine making it a non-negotiable promise to yourself that you will begin to wind down on the commute home. Listen to a funny podcast, make a call to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, perhaps get off a stop earlier every evening, or turn off email notifications. ?

“The key thing here is that you shift the focus on your way home to send the message to your brain that a different part of your day now begins.”

Using your holidays properly

If you have been practising Cognitive Shutdown on a regular basis, you should be able to switch off pretty quickly from work and go on holidays, according to Sinéad.

To help with this, the week before you go on holidays:

  1. Never start a new project.
  2. As you approach your holidays, make sure that you are handing over vital information to your team or colleagues so that your work is continued while you are away.
  3. Write your out of office at the start of the week. In it, clearly say that you will not be responding to emails while you are away.
  4. Create a results list for yourself. Forget a to-do-list. Be razor sharp in your focus outlining the 3 things that you are going to get a result in the week before you go on holidays. Be clear with yourself that you are not going to do everything instead give yourself permission to get the highest priority tasks completed.
  5. If you have the courage to do it, switch out your phone for a basic phone that has no WiFi that way you cannot be tempted.
  6. The one thing I would also say is that if you are a leader in an organisation, encourage your people to make no contact with emails or the office during their time off. Lead by example and while you are on your breaks don’t engage.

“As a society, unless we begin to change the way we work to suit the needs of our knowledge-based workforce burnout, stress, depression will reign supreme at the cost of an engaged workforce. ”


Main photograph: Unsplash

Read more: What to do when your career goes to plan but you’re still not happy

Read more: Five Irish businesswomen weigh in on the so-called ‘work-life balance’

Read more: Your office job could be ruining your health, here’s why (and how to combat it)

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
Vaccine envy: ‘Why a year of Covid has brought out the begrudgers’

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
The unexpected benefit lockdown is having on our children

By Amanda Cassidy

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse

blank
EDITORIAL
Here’s how you can watch a new short film starring Paul Mescal

Paul Mescal fans, this one is for you… A 14-minute...

By Jennifer McShane

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost,...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
EDITORIAL
Is marketplace feminism stealing the limelight from real female-driven issues?

‘Femertising’ is big business. Brands are increasingly taking advantage of...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
“You’re weird Mammy… other mothers iron”: Author Elske Rahill on writing and motherhood

“Every baby costs you a book” – that’s something women...

By IMAGE