How 10 successful Aussie women "log off" from work.

From left to right, Jess Mauboy, Leigh Sales and Meshel Laurie. Images: Instagram and Getty.

In a world where we’re accessible 24/7, it can be extremely hard to “switch off” and have a bit of time to yourself without the ping of emails and the constant lure of Facebook. To show us how it’s done, some of Australia’s most successful (and busy!) women share their strategies for logging off. Bookmark this page.

Leigh Sales, journalist and host of ABC’s 7:30 Report.

“There’s only one answer to switching off and that is: You must switch off. You literally have to switch your phone off. At a certain time of night, I put my phone on airplane mode. I know that if there is a work emergency, they have my husband’s number and will be able to reach me.

The other thing I find useful is to do an activity that is absorbing enough that it breaks my brain out of looping on work issues. Playing the piano does this for me, as does baking. Those activities take just enough concentration that they force my brain out of worrying about work but not so much concentration that they’re draining. Watching a compelling DVD box series does it for me too.”

Leigh Sales. (Image via Getty.)

Mia Freedman, Co-founder and Content Director, Mamamia Women’s Network.

“I never used to be a morning person. I was always the last one in my family to get out of bed. But I’ve started getting up earlier, often before 6am out of desperation. It’s the only time I can be alone with a cup of tea and my phone. If I’m lucky, I get 20 minutes. Sometimes it’s less. But it’s golden time. Just me and my phone. And my tea.”

Mia Freedman. (Image: Supplied.)

 Roxy Jacenko, Founder and Director of Sweaty Betty PR and The Ministry of Talent.

"The world of PR never really sleeps, so I essentially need be 'switched on' 24/7. However, at the end of a long day nothing is more rewarding than walking through the door to see my family. My daughter Pixie, four, and son Hunter, one, are my 'me time', so just being around them makes me relax and have a laugh. There's nothing like having children to force you to be in the moment!"

Roxy Jacenko and daughter Pixie. (Image via Instagram @roxyjacenko.)

Meshel Laurie, Radio and TV presenter.

“Eventually I realised I had to apply the same levels of respect and discipline to my non-work life if I wanted it to be as successful as my work life. I took no prisoners when it came to building my career, was always available for more work, had boundless energy to commit and put all else on the back burner at a moment's notice. In truth I was afraid of saying no, afraid whoever said yes would get the big break and I would miss out.

Then I had twins at 37 and learned what true exhaustion really was! I also discovered I have limits and I need to respect my physical and mental health if I want to live long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Meshel Laurie. (Image via Getty.)

I started creating space in my diary that was non-negotiable non-work time and took it as seriously as every other appointment that was in there. For example, I nap on Thursday afternoons. It's non-negotiable, it's every Thursday and it's in the diary, so if you need me you'll have to work around it.

We also instituted an annual family holiday during which we leave town and all it's temptations. Recently, and this is truly revolutionary, I've stopped doing things I didn't want to do on the weekends. No work, no chores, no social engagements I'm not really interested in, no jobs for my parents, no fighting about homework. I made my weekends defiantly restful, and as far as I know, the world hasn't even ended."

Tracey Spicer, journalist and TV presenter.

"After years of being far too addicted to my devices, I am now committed to having a digital detox one day a week. Usually, it's Saturday. Frankly, it's amazing the difference it makes. My Saturdays seem to stretch to a week as I find time for all the other things I want to do!

I also do yoga once a week, and take 10 deep meditative breaths whenever I can. If you can control your breathing, you control muscle tension and cognition. I teach it in my TV presenting classes. It's a wonderful way to 'insert' meditation into your daily routine - quickly. It's amazing how calm you feel afterwards. I do it before every TV or stage presentation."

Tracey Spicer. (Image via Instagram @traceyspicer.)

 Susie Burrell, Dietitian/Nutritionist and author of The Shape Me Spring Reset Plan.

"On average I work between 10 to 12 hours six days each week and while my schedule is flexible, for example, I can duck out for lunch or to the gym, the mobile is never far away and I've noticed this plays a significant role in feeling constantly heightened and 'on'. To try to get some balance I really try to cut off from social media at 8pm each night.

Susie Burrell. (Image: Supplied.)

I find social media addictive and really try and regulate my use by pre-programming as much content as possible rather than riding it all day when I should be writing or concentrating on clients. In particular, I try to keep off all devices on Saturday afternoon/evening and most of Sunday although Sunday night does tend to be a work night as we prepare online content for the week ahead."


Jamila Rizvi, Editor In Chief, Mamamia Women’s Network.

"Switching off is something I've always really struggled with. I love working and my mind is never happier than when it's solving a problem. But for me the one thing that pauses the whirring circuits in my brain temporarily is being with my girlfriends. Relaxing into conversation that flows without effort from one topic to the next leaves me feeling contented and relaxed. A sneaky glass or two of wine doesn't hurt either."

Mamamia Editing In Chief, Jamila Rizvi. (Image: Supplied.)

Jessica Mauboy, singer.

"I go to the DVD store in Darlinghurst and I buy old school DVDs, and I go home and eat salt and vinegar chips and just munch away and watch an old movie. Steel Magnolias is one of my favourite films, that makes me laugh."

Jess Mauboy (Image via Instagram @jessicamauboy1.)

Shelly Horton, TV presenter and Host of Mamamia TV.

"I went on holidays in the Kimberleys in Western Australian recently and there was no mobile phone reception. I thought I'd be scratching at my arms like a junkie. The opposite happened. I loved not being it's slave. I found I was more ceative and I had time to think and contemplate rather that constantly 'do'. I swore I was going to use my phone less when I got back. It lasted about three days. But I have made some changes.

My biggest tip would be to take the work email alerts off your phone. The constant 'pinging' would snap me out of relaxation mode constantly. Many of the emails were not urgent. As a matter of fact, are any emails urgent? If it's actually urgent you will get a text message or a call. Sheesh now I think of it - take all your work emails off your phone.

Mamamia senior editor, Shelly Horton. (Image: Supplied.)

Plus I exercise. You can't work and exercise (I've tried emailing while on the cross trainer and I fell off). So it forces you to log off and do something just for you. I find that also helps manage my stress and makes me physically tired instead of just mentally tired."

Tammy Bykerk, Co-Founder and Head Designer of BAKU Swimwear.

"I immerse myself in my beautiful family, which reminds of why I am doing what I am doing in the first place. I put my laptop in the car so I am not tempted to log on and see my emails and try to keep off my phone as much as possible. Doing activities with my children such as board games, painting and baking also make me forget the stresses of the day. Playing with lego especially relaxes me."

Tammy Bykerk (Image: Supplied)

How do you log off from work?