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Blog - Why our minds need to switch off on holiday

Why our minds need to switch off on holiday

Posted by Stella Chandler 21/07/15

Working on Holiday 


An article in the Evening Standard last week suggested that it was more realistic in this day and age to “manage” emails on holiday, rather than to switch them off altogether. Only looking at emails at a specific time of the day (between 5 and 6 for example) was one suggestion.


BUT this assumes we can click straight back into holiday mode after checking them!

That may be possible for some (and possibly a necessity for sole traders) but for most of us, surely it depends on what we uncover in the emails?

If you open them up and find a particularly thorny problem to deal with, most of us would have that playing on our minds for some time afterwards – even if we were able to field it for the time being. And that negates any benefit of being away from work.

An article from Psychology Today shows us from a neuroscience point of view why it is so important to give our minds a complete break...

The author demonstrates how a rested mind, which has distanced itself from the day to day issues, is far more likely to achieve insight, creativity and those “Aha” moments, which help us solve problems. (the phenomenon of an answer to an ongoing problem suddenly coming to us in the shower when we are not really thinking about anything!)

This is not going to happen if we are constantly embroiled in the detail of work, which looking at emails will bring.

So do your mind (and your wellbeing) a favour and ditch the emails this holiday...

For guidance on how to boundary emails in work as well as out, see our thoughts from Guest blogger Steve Eddy Head of HR at the Barbican.

Stella Chandler
Stella Chandler

I thrive on seeing people do things they didn’t think they could do! I draw on my management and leadership experience from working in senior positions in the Metropolitan Police Service, running Focal Point since 2002 and working across all three sectors in the widest variety of environments. Because we rarely learn things first time, we believe it is vital to provide support before, during and after the events we run, in order to get the best from them. Time and time again people have told us how the chance to review their learning and to have their actions reinforced has really helped cement new ways of doing things. This is what has then made the difference that they and we are looking for. I am a fellow of the CIPD and when I am not working with clients I can be seen on the golf courses of Hampshire.

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