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An always-on work ethic has been proven to increase stress and anxiety levels, disrupt sleep and even damage relationships with loved ones.

Despite this, a recent study has found that an increasing number of Australians are checking their emails outside of office hours.

A staggering 85% of full time workers admitted to reading their emails outside of work, and 84% said they slept with their phone close to hand.

If, like many people, you’re experiencing some work related stress or anxiety and would like to improve both your mental health (and productivity levels), try to disconnect this Easter with these simple tips.

1. Speak up and communicate when you’re planning to disconnect from work

Tell your colleagues when you’ll be offline and make it clear that you’re not planning on checking your emails. Don’t be afraid to do this, most people are surprisingly understanding and will respect that you need to (for example) spend quality time with your family.

Let your team and clients know how to contact you in case of an emergency, but be sure to define exactly what constitutes as an emergency beforehand.

2. Stay away from screens at least an hour before bed and for an hour after waking up

Too much screen time is harmful, particularly at night time. Not only does the light damage your eyes at night and disrupt your natural sleep cycles, but it’s also been linked to some more serious health issues. Getting a good night sleep naturally reduces stress levels, so this is a fantastic place to start.

3. Keep your phone in another room

Studies have shown that people are more focused and productive when their phone is in a different room. Hopefully you’re not planning on working over Easter, but leaving your phone elsewhere can help you get stuck into that book you’ve been meaning to read.

4. Log out of your apps and switch off notifications

This is a no brainer. Switch them off! When you’re not using your phone flick it into aeroplane mode to help prevent any distractions and reduce the urge to pick it up.

5. Set times when you’ll allow yourself to be online and stick to them

If you can’t switch off completely then set some times when you can check your inbox– and stick to them.

Checking emails sporadically throughout the day can actually do more harm than good, according to a study from the University of British Columbia. If you read an email flagging a problem at breakfast but you’re unable to fix it immediately, or if you send a quick email and expect a response, that nagging feeling in the back of your head will have a field day.

If you’re really struggling, there are some useful tools you can use such as inbox pause.

6. Exercise some self-awareness

No one likes to eat dinner with someone who is distracted or prioritizes their phone over the present company. Be mindful of how your use of technology can interrupt and disrupt your real world interactions.

Voicing your thoughts will help, tell people around you that you’re trying to disconnect and they’ll encourage you too.

If you’d like to speak to a recruitment specialist about finding a new job with a healthy work-life balance, contact us today. 

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