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Can’t Turn Off Work Mode On The Weekend? Research Says Your Personality Matters

Can’t Turn Off Work Mode On The Weekend? Research Says Your Personality Matters

In today’s society, work is becoming a seven-day-a-week proposition. Mobile technology is blurring the lines between work and leisure. Working on weekends has become the new normal. People are compelled to spend their off time working in order to stay on top of their work, catch up on items from the previous week or get a head start on the next week’s tasks.

Business Insider Executive Editor Joe Weisenthal recently wrote an article about this inability an alarming amount of people have to unplug. He believes that two days of weekend is too much for many people:

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 “It seems that totally disconnecting for two days is too excruciating for a lot of people, so that by Sunday morning they’re eager to start getting back into the swing of things.”

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 35 percent of employed Americans work at least one day on the weekend.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Decades of research continue to support the notion that the current 40-hour workweek is indeed, the sweet spot. It further shows that working overtime and weekends can lead to serious negative effects on health (mental and physical), relationships, and overall productivity. Over time, working long hours can increase your risk of depression, heart attack, and heart disease.

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    Some people are more susceptible to working weekends than others

    Why is it that some people have no problem unplugging on weekends and return to work Monday morning disturbingly bright, chipper and well rested? While others drag in from a weekend of working looking, tired, haggard and sometimes physically ill?

    Research suggests that your ability to unplug is tied to your personality–specifically your tendency towards optimistic or pessimistic thinking.

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    Jennifer Ragsdale, a psychologist at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, conducted a study to examine the three-way interactions between weekend activities (low-effort and work-related) and both positive trait affectivity or PA (positive outlook, cheerfulness and enthusiasm) and negative trait affectivity–NA (Anger, disgust, fear and frustration) on the ability for people to recover from work week stressors. The study found that– generally speaking, positive affectivity (and negative affectivity) greatly influence one’s opinions and decisions and dictates how they respond to and handle stress. A brain with a tendency towards NA will struggle with the ability to detach, relax and experience a sense of mastery.

    People with a higher NA tend to be more easily overwhelmed, prone to anxiety and are unable to relieve stress at work. They have the tendency to work on weekends and – even worse – while on vacation. Scores of individuals are under the false illusion that if they work at home, on nights and weekends, they can reduce stress at work and stay ahead of the curve. Studies show that the opposite is actually true. For people with higher NA more work equates to more stress and more negative thoughts and feelings.

    Workaholic I
      Photo Credit: LaurMG. on Flickr

      Learning how to relieve stress at work is key to taking a break

      First, try to identify your primary stressors. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work? Is the work labor intensive and time sensitive? If so, working on time management and learning how to allocate your time during each day may be key to accomplishing your tasks in a timely manner while still preserving your free time. Attacking your primary stressors by having a plan and being proactive can assist in counteracting your brain’s natural NA tendencies.

      Another major key in ending the cycle of never ending work is to understand that you are more productive when you take periodic breaks. Research is definitively on this point. Your brain needs to completely disengage from work related activity periodically. It will reduce your stress and make you better in all areas of your life.

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      Denise Hill

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      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

      How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

      How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

      How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

      Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

      That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

      Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

      1. Write Your Goals

      The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

      Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

      As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

      Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

      2. Beat Procrastination

      Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

      Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

      Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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      What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

      When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

      3. Celebrate Small Wins

      In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

      Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

      It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

      So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

      4. Practice Gratitude

      It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

      Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

      So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

      60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

      By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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      5. Be Optimistic

      Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

      At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

      Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

      6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

      A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

      Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

      What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

      So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

      10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

      7. Face your Fears

      You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

      If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

      Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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      Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

      Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

      8. Visualize your Success

      You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

      One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

      Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

      9. Find Inspiration

      Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

      From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

      Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

      Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

      10. Enjoy Downtime

      You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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      Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

      You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

      11. Meditate Regularly

      Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

      Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

      Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

      The Bottom Line

      Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

      However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

      So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

      More Tips About Staying Motivated

      Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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