4 Ways To Leave Work At The Office
Are you struggling to maintain work-life balance? Maybe you’re guilty of bringing too much work home with you each evening and on the weekends. Perhaps you can’t shut your phone off and instead live each day tethered to it, replying to emails and text messages.
You might find yourself being dubbed a “workaholic” by your friends and loved ones because they can’t seem to talk to you about anything other than your job. If any of these situations describes you, you’re likely in desperate need of finding balance between your work and the rest of your life.
4 Ways To Leave Work At The Office
Depending on the nature of your job, there are ways to leave work at the office. Unless you work in the medical field and have to be on-call at all times, or you’re a high profile attorney with needy clients, chances are good that your job doesn’t have to be the focal point of your life. Here are four ways to leave work at work:
1. Delete your email from your phone.
Do you find yourself endlessly checking and refreshing your work email on your phone? I used to be guilty of that. I remember many weekends when I would check my work email while out to lunch with my mom or shopping with a friend, only to become distracted by work communications.
It felt like “my time” was being consumed by my job. I’ve since deleted my work email from my phone and it has truly been liberating. I don’t have constant alerts each time an email pings my inbox after work hours. Better yet, I can live in the moment on weekends and not worry myself with work until heading into the office on Monday morning.
Pro-Tip: delete your work email from your phone so you can set boundaries by keeping work separate from your free time. Whatever the email says, it can probably wait until you’re back at the office.
2. Protect your time off.
I used to receive text messages and phone calls after hours when I was eating dinner with my boyfriend or in the middle of playing with my dogs. Sure, sometimes an occasional interruption after hours is acceptable, but only if it is a true emergency.
Guard your free time and don’t hesitate to explain it to your colleagues. Whether you have children, a spouse, chores, or maybe schoolwork waiting for you at home, protect your time off.
Pro-Tip: have a meeting with your boss if you’re constantly being called or texted on weekends, vacation days, and whatnot. Advocate for yourself and explain that not every little thing is a true emergency that warrants a late night call or early morning text. If you’re upfront about these boundaries, your colleagues might not only respect it, but mimic this behavior by creating boundaries for themselves too!
3. Your commute = time for decompression.
Consider making a pact with yourself that you’ll only “talk shop” on your ride home. Whether that means venting to a friend on the phone while you drive home or replaying a frustrating meeting over and over in your head while you’re on public transportation, use your commute to decompress.
Pro-Tip: don’t bring work talk home. Truthfully, your partner, roommate, or children probably don’t want to hear another story about your annoying coworker, difficult project, or frustrating meeting. Moreover, by not talking about work at home, you’ve created a space for yourself that is free of work-related stress. Give it a try and see how it feels to talk about things other than work when you’re home.
4. Don’t bring work home.
Again, depending on the nature of your job this might not be realistic, but do your best to limit the work you bring home, or don’t bring it home at all. If you’re a teacher, for example, you might need to make lesson plans for the week or correct student work during the week, which you can only get to at night when you’re home. Depending on your job, this happens. However, if you can help it, try to leave work at the office.
Pro-Tip: don’t work on projects on the weekends. Try to get as much work done at work so that your time at home is reserved for socializing, relaxing, and whatnot.
Work is essential to pay the bills and support yourself/your family. It’s important that you are your best self in your career for success. However, don’t lose sight on the importance of socializing with loved ones, having hobbies, and making time for relaxation. Like most things in life, it’s all about finding that balance.