Don’t Let Work Take Over Your Life
Almost half of workers admitted to never feeling as though they can fully switch off from work. It is especially difficult if you’re working from home and there’s no escape from the ‘office’. So, if you feel like you’re always switched on and struggle to relax outside of work, you’re not alone.
Working from home has its benefits – no commuting costs, longer lie-ins, home-cooked lunches…But trying to switch off from work when you live in your workspace can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you switch off from work:
How to Switch Off From Work
BUILD A ROUTINE
One of the main reasons you cannot switch off is because you overwork. If you’re working hours are 9am to 5pm then sit down and work for those hours, and those hours only. You need to have a routine and stick to it. Try not to start work early or stay late to ‘get on top of things’ because this can lead to regular routine.
Remember to take lunch break as well!
Switching off from work in the middle of the day is hard. You should physically take yourself out of the house (or away from your office) to remove yourself from that environment. The change of scenery is a distraction and lets you focus on things other than work.
START/END YOUR DAY RIGHT
To help build your routine, try to do something before and after you finish work. It will train you to know when you’re at work and when you’ve finished work. It will also help you stick to those office hours.
For example, you could exercise in the morning by taking a stroll around the block as a ‘commute’ to work. After work you should find a hobby that interests you. It’ll give you something to learn and be a part of. Examples of some interactive hobbies include painting, sculpting, reading, exercising, cooking, photography, bird watching, baking, learning an instrument etc.
DEFINE YOUR DESK
Don’t sit in bed to work all day.
You need to maintain boundaries between your workspace and your personal space. Try to keep your work within an area that doesn’t intrude into the rest of the house. This means once you’ve finished work you can move to a different space/room to relax and unwind. It’ll help you ward off that feeling you’re relaxing in the office. If you can, tidy everything away at the end of the day so you don’t get tempted to go back to your desk.
WRITE A TO-DO LIST
At the end of every day, write everything you need to get completed the next day. It will help you to leave your work for the day. It also helps you focus immediately the next day. Once you know you’re on top of things, you can relax for the night.
Also, no matter how much work you have, there’s just not enough time to achieve all your tasks. You need to accept you have your limits. There will always be something else to do done. You need to remember that the world won’t end if the work isn’t complete, and the clients will still be around in the morning. Just do your best.
SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE
Our lives are constantly bombarded with emails, calls and texts. The only way to stop these interruptions are to turn off your phone (or just leave it in another room).
When you are out of work hours, you shouldn’t be answering work emails or picking up calls. The emails will still be there in the morning, and voicemails can be left. On a personal note, is social media really adding value to your life? Reducing the time spent in front of a screen is beneficial for both switching off from work and it will improve your focus.
ENJOY YOUR EVENINGS
Do some sort of activity every night to lose yourself in and forget about the working day. Whether it’s catching up with a friend, cooking, exercising, or spending time on a hobby (knitting, painting, sculpting, building stuff, gardening). The most important thing is you switch from work to home.
DON’T TALK ABOUT WORK TOO MUCH
Sometimes it can help to talk about your problems. But don’t let it take over your life and consume everything you do. Make a safe space without the work drama. Discussing negative feelings can bring your down so try to avoid talking about work too much.
DON’T TURN TO ALCOHOL TO UNWIND
Although you may think a glass of wine will help to relax you, it may have the opposite effect. Too much alcohol can cause anxiety and make you feel worse instead of better. Save the beers for the weekend and stick to a cup of green tea and water during the week. You’ll feel less stressed and more in control.