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Before you leave the office, prepare a list of all the things you need to get to first thing on Monday. “This reassures your subconscious that you’re on top of them, shutting down the background static that threatens your weekend.”
Have a point that marks the start of your weekend. It might be 7pm on Friday, the bridge you cross on your trip home, or your first sip of wine. “When you get to it, declare the weekend open.”
Unless there’s a good reason not to, get to bed at your normal hour on Friday night. Sleep is fuel of a peak-performing brain, which will help you make smart leisure-time choices.
“Work’s now unbounded for many professional workers in time and space – you’re never out of contact,” says Dr Barbara Pocock, director of the Centre for Work and Life at the University of South Australia. If you must check your phone or computer for work-related emails over the weekend, discipline yourself to do it once a day, tops, she says.