Relax at Work
It is not unheard of for people to reflect on their workplace issues during their free time. However, I know people who find it difficult to escape from work, and this constant rumination can affect their productivity and even increase health risks.
Scientific studies have found that failure to unwind can lead to fatigue, cardiovascular disease, negative mood and trouble sleeping. What I have observed is that this can lead to poor productivity and performance at work. You need rest and mental clarity to help you think and work more effectively! Very hard learnt lesson this has been for me and I continue to learn this lesson on a regular basis.
There is something I have heard of called the Zeigarnik Effect. It is the phenomenon where people are better at remembering unfinished tasks rather than completed ones. The Zeigarnik Effect is used a lot in media for example in most popular TV series cliff-hangers are used to keep us viewers thinking about the show even after the episode or season is finished. Likewise, if you leave work with unfinished tasks, you might find yourself thinking about it, even if you are not in the position to finish it. This is why you should try to finish your work before you leave the office for the day and accept it when you can’t. If the task is too big to be finished in a single day, break it up into parts and aim to get one part completed before you leave. Breaking in to parts has definitely worked for me.
In your spare time, pursuing mental engagement activity is more effective and equally important than passive activity. This is not always very clear laid out as, watching a movie can also be engaging. Preferably, find something you enjoy that helps you unwind. For me, I enjoy cooking and training in the gym, watching sport games and some thriller or action movies or series before I am off to bed. For others, it can be doing a crossword puzzle, board game, dancing or just good old Netflix. I believe when you pursue your interests, you become absorbed in what you are doing; it is like a form of meditation and just general sense of happiness.
Speaking of meditation, I have found that meditation is an excellent way to gain control over your thoughts and mind. It isn’t for everybody, but everybody can benefit from taking some time to free the mind from busy thoughts and worries. There are many different ways to meditate, but they share a common premise, and the more you practice, the easier it becomes to relax.
Pursuing any of these activities can help you achieve mental clarity and you will be back at work more productive and efficient than ever.
Let me know what you do to clear your thoughts and relax yourself after work as it remains a work in progress activity for me!