Guest blog by Nicholas Lim-Howe
I think we can all relate here when I say that switching off from work is something many of us find difficult. While we strive for a healthy work-life balance, our heads can often be filled with work events, documents, meetings or conversations that have already happened or those to come, even hours after stepping through the front door.
While it is not at all unusual to reflect on work issues outside of regular office hours, many of us can stew over these, often unable to escape thoughts relating to work. This is not only ineffective but can have knock-on effects within other life roles as parents, partners and friends. A consequence of being stuck in ‘work mode’ is that we might miss out on appreciating precious time with our family or friends.
Here are 6 great strategies that I have found helpful to switch off -
Literally Switch Off! – With modern technology we find ourselves more connected to work than ever. If your job doesn’t require you to be in contact around the clock then we should try to disconnect. Put the ipad down, shut down the laptop and put the blackberry back in its case.
Ritualize – We often accept the ritual of getting ready and dressing-up for work but find it more difficult to do the same when we get home. Create a ritual when you get home. Whether it is taking a shower, going for a run, talking to your kids or just getting into your favourite pair of trackies, having a ritual to signal that you are at home can help put you in the right mindset.
Prioritize & Time Manage – Set realistic goals at work and allocate sufficient time to achieve these. By placing too much on our plates we may put ourselves under unnecessary stress at work, which can often spill over into our personal lives.
Seek Support – If you feel that you are beginning to or are already struggling at work tell someone. Find support within your team, share the workload evenly and delegate tasks where possible. Building a positive and supportive work environment should be everybody’s responsibility.
Planned Excitement – Set up regular exciting plans both big and small so that you have something to look forward to outside of your working lives. This could be a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant, family night at the movies, camping or planning an overseas trip at the end of the year. Working hard also means playing hard!
Get Inspired – When we find work that inspires us, work can often become less of a chore and more enjoyable. It’s important that we seek work that suits and stimulates us. The more we enjoy the less effort we may need to switch off.
Having greater control over our ability to switch OFF after work and ON in life is important when trying to live happier and fulfilling lives. After all we work to live not live to work.
Make Sense? Want to learn ways to actively switch off after work and on in your life. If so get in touch with Nick via nick @ makingchanges.com.au!
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