Off When You're Off - Disconnect Entirely from Work and Goals When You Need Downtime
Do you find yourself checking emails, taking care of loose ends and making work calls on the weekend, late into the evening or while you’re on vacation? If you answered yes, you need to read this now!
Studies show that failing to disconnect from work results in several negative side effects. But first, don’t worry. You’re not alone! Nearly 70 percent of Americans put in a full workday at least once weekend a month, according to a study by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Failing to regularly disconnect from your work and career goals can lead to the following side effects:
- High stress levels
- Unhealthy emotions
- Lack of work-life balance
- Poor nutrition
- Weakened immune system
- Poor mental health—depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation
- Health problems, including damage to lungs and heart
- Decreased job performance
- Vulnerability to addiction
- Reduced cognitive abilities
The COVID-19 pandemic has made disconnecting from work even harder for those who work from home. After all, when you work from your kitchen table, it’s hard to escape! If you work from home, make a conscious effort to find ways to separate your professional and person life.
Improve your work-life balance with the following nine tips to detach from work after hours:
1. Set realistic goals.
Think about your career and personal goals. What is important to you? What do you want to accomplish? What do you need to consider when prioritizing your time?
2. Create a transition ritual.
Create some sort of ritual to signal to yourself that you are transitioning from work to home. Listen to a podcast or favorite radio station on your drive home, workout, cook dinner, read, watch TV, or do anything else that will help you to relax.
3. Plan out your schedule.
At the beginning of the week, plan out your schedule. Be sure to set aside time to relax.
4. Don’t be a “Yes Man.”
Saying yes to extra work, being a team player, and going above and beyond to make clients happy is a great way to further your career. However, not if it’s at the expense of your own well-being.
5. Prioritize tasks.
At the beginning of each day, prioritize the tasks that you need to accomplish and then check them off as you do. This will help you stay focused and feel accomplished when it’s time to head home at the end of the day.
6. Set boundaries (and stick to them).
Set boundaries on the hours and places from which you work, and then let your co-workers know what those boundaries are. Additionally, if you work from home, set physical boundaries for your workspace and keep it hidden or clean it up when it’s not in use.
7. Work while you’re productive.
If you have the flexibility to work at any time of day, work while you are productive and feeling more motivated. You will accomplish more during this time, rather than working long hours early in the morning or into the night when you feel exhausted.
8. Prioritize your well-being.
Spend time doing things that make you happy and allow you to relax. Also, attending regular check-ups should be a top priority so that you stay healthy.
9. Log out and power down your devices.
Disconnect from your devices at the end of the day—this is the only way to fully separate yourself from work and focus on yourself. Additionally, consider logging out of or deleting all work-related accounts on your personal device, even if it’s only in the evenings and on weekends.
10. Take a vacation!
Even if it means taking a staycation, take some time off! Spend time doing things that you enjoy—you’ll be less-likely to think about work!
Disconnecting from your work can be challenging. We get it. But we know that your well-being and your career will benefit from taking some time to focus on yourself!