At the end of your rope mentally because work is bleeding into your personal time? You aren’t alone – 43% reported doing office tasks at home in 2017, according to a recent survey. Many people hare having issues with the question of how to leave work at work.
Want to create boundaries between work and home? Below, we’ll discuss a few tips that will help reclaim your evening for you and your family.
1) Be organized when you are at work
One of the big reasons why many of us end up taking a pile of work home: we didn’t get all that much done when we were at the office. While the cubicle may not be the most inspiring place in the universe, it is preferable to get your stuff done there than have it creep into your personal time.
If you want to increase your work productivity, it starts the evening before. Take out a sheet of paper and write down 1-3 important things which need to get done the next day – and no more. Very few people have more mission critical tasks than that, so resist the urge to write out a huge laundry list.
Once you pour your morning coffee and plunk your butt down in your chair, it’s go time. If you can’t stop yourself from visiting your favourite websites (like YouTube), download Leechblock and use this program to bar access to them (except during lunch).
By doing this, you’ll force yourself to focus on what needs to get done, minimizing the chance of having to work off the clock because you’re on deadline.
2) Silence / turn off your work phone after a set hour
While some people are compelled by their bosses to be respond to their work phone at any hour, most opt into it by responding to inquiries that can wait until the following day. At 5:00 pm (or whenever you normally leave the office), silence or turn off your work phone.
This can be an anxiety-inducing act, but remember that in order to reclaim your home life, you’ll need to stand up for yourself at some point. Don’t even make up an excuse if you end up getting called out for not responding – be honest with your boss about the stress you’ve been feeling about having work invade your personal time.
Unless you are in charge of a mission critical post (like a network administrator) or you are on deadline, text messages and e-mails after hours can and should be ignored.
3) Craft a series of enjoyable activities when you get home
The second you leave work is when you should start creating a clear separation between what you do at work and your life at home. Make your commute an enjoyable one – blast your favourite tunes or listen to an interesting podcast or two. When you get home, make some food which speaks to your soul.
Make time for a hobby which engages you physically/mentally. Have a bubble bath after a particularly tough day. These activities and others won’t just relax you – they’ll explicitly define your home life, and why it shouldn’t be infringed upon by work tasks.
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