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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

      Speech Writer/Senior Editor

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      Last Updated on August 16, 2018

      10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

      10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

      The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

      In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

      Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

      1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

      What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

      Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

      2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

      Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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      How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

      Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

      Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

      3. Get comfortable with discomfort

      One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

      Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

      4. See failure as a teacher

      Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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      Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

      Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

      10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

      5. Take baby steps

      Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

      Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

      Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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      The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

      6. Hang out with risk takers

      There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

      Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

      7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

      Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

      Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

      8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

      What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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      9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

      Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

      If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

      10. Focus on the fun

      Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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