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Feelin’ Good About Turnin’ Off

Turning off work during the holidays benefits your coworkers, too
by Nancy Cicco
Elana Feldman, an expert on organizational behavior who studies how people use their time on the job, can offer a range of tips on how to achieve a balance between happy holidays and professional productivity.
     “Feel good about turning work ‘off,’” says Feldman, an assistant professor of management at UMass Lowell. “Taking time away from work helps prevent burnout and can boost creativity. If you truly take a holiday break, you will return to the office more energized and engaged.”
Feldman’s recommendations include:
• Recognize that turning off work during the holidays benefits your coworkers, too. If you’re not sending emails, they won’t feel obligated to answer them;
• Make a conscious, thoughtful decision about whether and how much you will work over the holidays. Many people end up working without really considering whether they have to or want to do so;
• Focus on those tasks that are most urgent and important, and keep the others off your radar until after the holidays;
• If there are projects that you will have to pick up again after the holidays, leave yourself clear reminders about where you left off. Make to-do lists so that you don’t forget key tasks when you are back in the office. These small behaviors can also help you feel less stressed while you disconnect because you know you’ve set yourself up for a smooth return to work.
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