Are you switching-off from work enough?

2nd May 2019

We recharge our phones every day but how often are we recharging ourselves? This is the question that Paul Dickinson poses in his workshops.

Over the past 12 months he has worked with businesses including Skybet, Irwin Mitchell and BT. His Rest Bandit business is garnering attention amongst business people who see rest and recovery as a key element of healthier, happier and more creative lives. We caught-up with Paul on the eve of launching his latest campaign Switch-Off Thursday. What's the Switch-Off Thursday Campaign all about? I run regular campaigns to raise awareness of rest and recovery. In January this year several businesses in Sheffield and Leeds participated in Switch-Off Thursday. This was a day where businesses promoted the importance of resting and switching-off from work with activities such as lunchtime walks and tech-free zones in offices. The level of engagement was so high that I have organised a follow-up campaign that will take place on Thursday 20th June. If you want to participate, I am using #SwitchOffThursday on social media to connect people and businesses and to share ideas. I am also running a Campaign Launch Breakfast Event on 23rd May. This will bring together like-minded businesses with whom I will be sharing tips on switching-off from work. This is a free-of-charge event which can be booked via Eventbrite here. You can access more info about my workshops at So, what can we do to recharge our rest lives? We asked Paul for a few tips. Don't use your smart phone as your alarm clock. This pulls you into the chaos of emails, social media and newsfeeds as soon as your head leaves the pillow. Create opportunities for distraction-free connection with yourself and others as part of your morning routine. Conscious breathing is a great mood enhancer, stress reliever and can boost your energy levels. Try using your email time as a cue to do some deeper breathing (think BREATHEMAIL). Try relaxing your jaw and shoulders, breathing into your belly and extending your out-breath. Increase the distance or the time that you spend walking to and from meetings and do so without checking your smart phone. Studies have shown that walking boosts creativity. You will also give yourself distraction-free time to focus, prepare and reflect. Avoid constantly dipping into your email and social media. This will interfere with your focus and creativity as well as making you feel more restless and agitated. Set aside two or three times in the day to deal with emails. We often 'wobble' between work and rest which decreases the quality of both activities. Better to allocate specific time to things that recharge you and avoid work distractions during these time slots. It's easy to prioritise feeling and looking busy over high impact activities. Apps and devices are intentionally designed to make everything appear urgent and important. It's worth recalibrating our thinking with regards to certain activities asking ourselves, -What will happen if I don't do this now or not at all? Paul can be contacted on

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