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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 December 2, 2018

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

      You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

      1. Connecting them with each other

      Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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      It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

      2. Connect with their emotions

      Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

      For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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      3. Keep going back to the beginning

      Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

      On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

      4. Link to your audience’s motivation

      After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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      Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

      5. Entertain them

      While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

      Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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      6. Appeal to loyalty

      Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

      In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

      7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

      Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

      Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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