Catriona Pollard says a creative outlet helps her switch off.
Checking your phone constantly? Refreshing your inbox every few minutes?
It's a sure sign you need to switch off.
But overcoming a technology addiction is easier said than done when smart phones allow us to bring work wherever we go. Turning off the phone and ignoring the emails just isn't a realistic option, so can you kick the habit?
Sabina Read knows the value of unplugging from technology.
Find an outlet that doesn't involve phones or computers
Her friends say she "plays with sticks", but Catriona Pollard prefers to call it "the art of weaving".
Pollard took up basketry after she started to feel the pressure of operating her public relations agency CP communications.
"A few years ago I got to the point where I felt I was starting to get burnt out by the intense pressure of constantly being on deadline," Pollard says.
"I thought I had a creative outlet because my job was creative, but I really need other outlets to manage my workload."
Photography appealed to Pollard, but she realised it involved yet more time in front of a computer. Instead, she turned to something completely new and different.
"I saw the local community centre was having a basketry weekend and I signed up," she says.
"When I did it, I knew this was it. It was like a form of meditation and it was such a simplistic task – the exact opposite of what I have to do in my job every day."
Pollard now regularly scours garden waste for plants she can use to sculpt and weave. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and she is on the committee of NSW Basketry.
Fight fire with fire
Technology eats up so much of our time, but it can also help us manage our time.
Check out online time management tools and apps such as BRB. The free app acts like an answering machine and out-of-office email by notifying your contacts when you're away.
Get over the fear of disconnection
Psychologist and social commentator Sabina Read says technological tools of the trade are indispensable, but users need to know where to draw the line.
"Technology puts multiple demands on our time, we're constantly thinking, 'Should I retweet someone's comment?' or 'Should I post this?'," she says.
"It puts a strain on the short-term memory and impacts on the ability to think deeply.
"There's a lot of ways of unplugging and it's important to get to a point where you're comfortable with it.
"You'll be thinking 'What happens if I let someone down?', 'What if I hurt someone's feelings?'. Learn to manage the 'what ifs'."
Read recommends allocating two or three regular times per day to check social media and emails.
"We have developed a need for instant gratification," she says.
"We need to turn off things like email read receipts, automatic reminders and vibrations and find ways to temporarily disconnect from technology."
Get your adrenaline pumping
Speed takes busy executive Stephen Borg miles away from the stresses of the daily grind.
Borg, a corporate director of global strategy and market development at electronics manufacturer AOPEN, volunteers for a police-sanctioned drag racing program in Victoria.
And when he's not feeling the need for speed, Borg indulges his love of martial arts.
The Melbourne-based businessman, who spends six months of the year working in AOPEN's San Jose and Taiwan offices, says drag racing and martial arts are strictly "no phone" times.
"Initially I felt anxious switching off the phone and, ironically, some of the hardest problems I'll get contacted about happen when I'm not on my phone," Borg says.
"But when I'm doing martial arts or I'm in the car, it gives me a moment of clarity.
"So when I switch my phone back on and hear the messages, I find I'm more focused and give a more considered response."
Leave work at work
It's difficult not to check work-related emails, voicemail messages and social media at home. But not getting that work-life balance right can come at a cost.
Research shows one in four employees check work emails or answer work calls outside of work hours. And Australian workers donate $110 billion of unpaid overtime to employers.
The data was commissioned by research group The Australia Institute and mental health support organisation beyondblue – the two groups behind the annual Go Home On Time Day.
The day, to be held on November 20, is a public health initiative aimed at making businesses and workers more aware of the link between working conditions and mental health.