Everyone from Bill Gates to Richard Branson is harping on about the benefits of work-life balance.
In order to do your best work then you need to unplug from time to time. We know that. You know that. Even your granny knows that.
But we also know that switching off is easier said than done. Realistically you’re going to check your phone and probably even think about work after hours. That’s just life.
Here’s your realistic guide to leaving the office, well…at the office.
Keep work talk to a minimum
We all love to complain about work as soon as we get home. While a quick debriefing over dinner can be a good thing, spending your entire evening bitching about your coworker probably isn’t.
When you talk about your work problems at home you are bringing all those negative emotions back to the forefront of your mind. Try to avoid talking about work altogether if you want a happy/stress-free evening.
Do something after work
After a particularly shitty day at the office, you might want to run home, throw on your pyjamas and have a glass of wine on the sofa and that’s okay. Just don’t make it a daily thing.
Find yourself a hobby. It can be anything from sport to arts and crafts, just something that will break up the day into work and leisure. When you’re doing something productive your mind won’t have the time to think about work. Plus it’s a great way to release tension.
Don’t add work to your phone
This might seem downright ridiculous to all the workaholics out there but you can erase all traces of work from your personal phone. If you really want to unplug delete Slack, Trello and your work emails.
It might seem a little bit extreme at the start but you will soon get used to your newfound freedom. You need to set the boundaries early if you want people to respect your downtime.
Clock out on time
One of the easiest ways to unplug after a long day is to actually leave work on time. If it helps, you can make plans for right after work. This will help you to get into the habit of leaving once your day is done.
If you’re snowed under with work then come in early the following morning. Your mind will be fresh and you will be able to work better.
Reassess your career path
If your job is making you anxious, stressed and exhausted with no benefits attached then it may be time to rethink the role that you are in.
Ask yourself what makes you happy and how can you use that to make money? If you find common ground then you might just be on to a winner.
There’s no shame in jumping ship. People change career all the time. You just need to be brave enough to do it.