For those of us who tend to stress out more than others, disentangling ourselves from our work seems nearly impossible. Staying in the office late into the night, burning the midnight oil finishing reports and thinking about work 24/7 are regular occurrences. However, thinking about nothing other than work is mentally and emotionally harmful and, ultimately, unsustainable. If you’re looking to avoid spending every waking hour feeling fatigued and burned out, here are a few tips on how to disengage from work:
1. Have a cut-off timeIf you find yourself thinking about work long after you’ve left the office, perhaps a little audio reminder would be helpful. For instance, if you exit office at 7 pm daily, set an alarm on your phone for 7” 15 pm that will signal you to discard all work-related thoughts. If you find your thoughts wandering frequently, perhaps setting multiple alarms at regular intervals reminding you to disengage will do the trick.
2. Disconnect If you use an office phone or laptop and don’t have to bring them home with you, then don’t. Lugging your office tech to your residence you will just tempt you to continue working through the night. Furthermore, it would behoove you to unlink your work email from your personal devices so you’re not disturbed by frequent office calls and texts if you tend to receive those around the clock.
3. A strict scheduleIf your evenings are usually relatively empty and you find yourself working just to fill time, create a strict schedule of items to accomplish before bed. Clean your place, watch a documentary and prep your breakfast or lunch for the next day. When you’re starting out, allot a certain amount of time for each activity until you feel comfortable enough to proceed without a rigid timetable.
4. After-work activitiesIf sitting at home watching TV doesn’t occupy your brain, then pack your schedule with activities. Sign up for fitness or hobby classes, or just plan after-work outings – . karaoke, bowling, dancing, cooking, pottery, volunteering are all great ways to get your mind off of your day at your desk. Plus, after-hours obligations will make you look forward to the rest of the evening, reduce your stress and give you a legitimate reason to think of something else other than work. In the process, you will gain an expanded social circle and a sense of fulfillment.
5. Hit the gymThe benefits of regular exercise are known to all, so why not make the gym your after-hours abode of choice? A welcome respite from the stresses of work, gyming reduces stress, increase productivity and make you feel good about yourself.
6. Hang out with your familyA major gripe shared by the working population is that they do not get to spend enough time with their families. If that sounds like you, then take pains to prioritize yours: wrap up your errands, remove all electronic distractions and go home and give your loved ones your undivided attention; hopefully, this will help you feel relaxed and ready to conquer yet another stressful week.