How To Leave Work Behind For The Day
“Leave your work at work, and leave your home at home. That way, you will only have one problem to solve at a time.”There is a reason they say you shouldn’t take your work home. It’s unhealthy, and can cause more damage than you realise. Creating and maintaining a good balance between your work and personal life can be incredibly difficult, but is so very important. By merging the two, you could face undue stress, increased pressure, and compromise those relationships that are the most meaningful. At the office, you may be the boss, leader, and authority figure; whereas at home, you may be a mother or a father, a supporter, and a shoulder to lean on. These things can often intersect, but at other times, it isn’t so neat.
Here are a few ways you can make sure that you leave work where it belongs – at the office:
1. Time management – In today’s day and age where we are all juggling multiple roles, personas, and hats, time management is imperative. A big part of being a good employee is that you multitask, and manage your time efficiently. There are certain jobs that require you to be on call, around the clock. However, be aware of your space, and try to minimise the intrusion of work into your daily life. During work hours, try to finish anything that is urgent, and could require your time post work, and leave only those items that you know can wait till the next morning.
2. Put the phone away – Our entire lives seem to be contained in that little box of metal! I often wonder, how did people get anything done without smartphones? It’s amazing how much we depend on our phones for so much of life – including work, and personal life. The phone is also our main lifeline when it comes to the office, and the best way to leave the office behind is to just keep your phone on silent, and not check it every 15 minutes. You could also switch off your notifications, so you aren’t bothered by a ‘ping’, every time you get an email or a message.
3. Stay focused – When you’re at work, you are expected to be 100 per cent there. If you were 50 per cent focused on work, while 25 per cent of you is planning your next holiday, and the other 25 per cent is on FaceTime with your friend in Paris, your boss wouldn’t be too happy. The same applies at home. You can’t expect to give your family 50 per cent of your attention, and for them to be satisfied. A great way to start acting on this is to try meditating. There are some great apps available on your phone, which can help you get started in only 10 minutes a day. Headspace and Calm are popular choices, but make sure you try a few apps out there, and choose the one that works best for you.
4. Get active – A great way to spend quality time with your friends and family is to engage in something active. This could range from playing a game of basketball with the guys, going to an amusement park with the kids, or hitting the gym with your partner. Not only will you benefit from the rush of endorphins, but you will be so involved in the game, that you might forget about work altogether!
5. Give yourself timelines – Some of us do not have the luxury of switching off at all. Roles in the hospitality, medicine, and aviation industries are just a few examples. If you fall into this category, then it is imperative that you explain to your family exactly why you need to keep checking your phone. Giving them the context of the situation (in broad terms), will help them relate to you, rather than resist. Give yourself an hour or so during the evening where you take some time to finish off all your emails and calls, so your family knows that those hours are off-limits.
You don’t take your job for granted. But taking your family for granted is a mistake most of us make, in our quest for the perfect career. When it comes down to it, your family is the foundation that will provide you with the strength and confidence to work even harder and achieve all your goals. When you are at home, try to enjoy your time off, because sooner than you know it, it’s back to work.