Give yourself permission to call it a day. You deserve a life outside of work!

Do you have trouble calling it a day after you leave the office? Are you still distracted by work concerns once you’re arrived at home? By continuing to focus on work, we’re likely to bring the stress and mood of the day home with us. This unintentionally creates distance in our relationships and prevents us from enjoying the time we need for rest and recreation.

Eventually, it can take a toll on our physical health and overall well-being, which is why it’s so important to have a good method for leaving work at work and enjoying the rest of life.

If you’re looking for a better way to break out of work mode when you’re at home, try asking yourself these three questions.

1) Does your work-to-home routine support your need for transition?

Commute time can be a great decompression period if used properly. Try listening to music or an audio book to unwind. Perhaps you prefer quiet time to actively transition your focus from work to home. If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, consider an alternate, longer route home to give yourself a little more time to adjust.

For some people, engaging in physical activity is what’s needed to make the mental shift. A quick workout at the gym or another activity after work can be very effective. Exercise is a great way to de-stress while also helping to stay fit. If time is limited, be creative. Sometimes simply changing clothes or a quick shower can help refresh and refocus.

2) Have you set clear boundaries between work and home?

Setting regular work hours with consistent start and stop times assures you don’t shortchange your time at work or at home. This requires discipline, but my guess is you have more control than you think.

Before leaving work, make a list of things to do the next day. This allows you to free your mind of them once you leave the office. If it’s necessary to bring work home, be intentional about it. Determine how much time you’ll spend and stick to it. While at home, avoid constant checking of email and messages just because you can.

For people who work from a home office, setting clear boundaries is paramount. To overcome proximity issues, try getting out of the house for a while. Simply running a quick errand, picking up the kids or shopping for groceries will help to refocus your attention.

3) Does your time outside of work get proper priority?

Give your time away from work the same priority and importance as you give your working hours. Avoid over scheduling weeknight and weekend activities. Make it a point to allow for rest and relaxation as well as time for recreation. Don’t let this be you!

Give yourself permission to call it a day. It’s OK to have a life outside of work.Your inbox will never be empty and your ‘to do’ list will always have another task. Ultimately, that’s a good thing. So enjoy yourself, your friends and your family. You will be far more productive at work and home when you create balance in all areas of your life.

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