How many times have you arrived home, take off your shoes, and still work for at least four hours at home? Sometimes it’s really serious work and sometimes, it’s the little things, such as answering an email or some unfinished work at the office. Regardless of how big or small the work is, it is affecting your life entirely.
While it is essential to be productive, we should find the balance and make time to relax and disconnect from work. How to do that? Check out the 5 tips below that can help you leave your work at the office completely.
#1 Get rid of expectations of handling emails beyond work hours.
It is common for people to allocate at least an hour of work beyond their regular hours. Spending an hour or two to work when at home may seem not stressful at all. But, it is not that simple. The extra time you give to work may not be the one giving you stress. It is when you anticipate receiving those emails. The feeling of needing to be ready to read and respond to those emails can cause you anxious and stressed.
Here are some tips on how you can leave work at your office:
- Tech – Delete work-related apps on your phone, such as Slack and Skype. This way, you will not be tempted to look if you need to attend to something. You can inform your colleagues to contact you through your phone number, but only when it is urgent or an emergency.
- Personal – Many of us cannot separate from our phones and this is one reason why we are tempted to work beyond office hours. Practice having a “phone-free time,” like not using it during dinner time. Or, you can make it a rule not to use your phone at least two hours before bedtime.
- Organizational – Discuss with your colleagues the set of rules and expectations regarding working hours. Are they allowed to send or respond to emails beyond office hours? Can they call you even after leaving the office? Make sure that the whole team is on the same page.
#2 Use your travel to clear your mind from the mental mess of the day.
When you leave the office, make sure that you leave your work there completely. When commuting, regardless of whether you are driving or taking the train, use that time to clear your mind. If it’s possible, you can even add some walking when leaving the office. By doing so, you are able to appreciate the world outside work, which greatly helps you declutter your mind.
#3 Set deadlines for the end of each workday and follow them.
Many of us set our mind to finishing urgent tasks within the day. It does not matter if we go beyond working hours, as long as we get them finished. By doing this, you are going to stress yourself on many nights. It is better if you set deadlines before your workday ends. Set a time for each task and make sure to finish it at that moment. By setting these deadlines, you are able to focus yourself better and not switch from one task to another.
#4 Write today about what you need to do tomorrow.
When you plan ahead, you are going to start your day with the right foot. You will be more organized, which greatly reduces your stress levels. What’s more, when you are prepared for what you need to do the next day, you will be more creative, inspired, and productive. As they always say, it’s better to be prepared.
On the other hand, if you did not prepare for the next workday, there is a higher chance that you will lose focus and will tend to attend to everything simultaneously. There is also a higher chance that people will dictate what you need to do, which adds to more stress.
#5 Find time for your interests, hobbies, and things that matter to you.
A negative side of productivity is that it encourages you that you need to keep on working and that you should always be doing more. With more thinking and more work, you are preventing yourself from relaxing and having fun. When your stress levels are high, it affects everything around you. You become impatient and moody, which can drive you away from the people and things you love.
Find the time to disconnect from your work and stick to that routine. Giving time to relax and have fun contributes to your overall happiness, which will further lead to productivity and better relationships.