When your home doubles as your office it can be tricky to switch off from office mode. The current climate has seen a major boom in people working from home and adjusting to working while the house around you runs riot has been a major challenge for some. We all know how important boundaries can be to our health and wellbeing, but when there’s no physical office space to leave behind, how do you mentally separate the home zone from the work mode? These tips are here to help you reclaim your downtime when working from home…
Make a Dedicated Space
If you really want to be able to separate business from play, the first thing you need to do is to make a dedicated workspace. There’s a whole psychology behind having a workspace that you can walk away from. If you can make an office space that you can close the door on at the end of the day it's even better, but otherwise, even just a desk that you can turn your back on will immediately help you to disassociate from work.
Delete Email Apps From Phone
If you have Gmail or any other email app on your phone then you may feel the temptation to keep on hitting the refresh button when really you should be chilling with a movie. By removing the email apps from your phone or at least blocking them after a certain time of day (when your workday has finished), you are making it practically impossible for yourself to ‘quickly check-in’. You should also let your clients and colleagues know that after a certain time, you won't be available to reach via email. If deleting apps feels like too much of a big step then you can at least turn off your notifications.
Get a Ritual
Whether it’s pouring yourself a glass of wine at the end of the day or hopping into a shower and changing your clothes, having a little ritual to mark the end of the workday can be a great way of drawing that line in your head. Just like a great bedtime ritual, these tiny routines help our minds to readjust to a new phase of the day and can immediately help you to become more relaxed. Try and pick three things to serve as a marker for the end of your day; switch off your computer, get changed, and take five minutes to meditate as you move out of work mode and into dreamy downtime.
Stimulate a Commute
A great little mind trick for changing from business to play mode is to stimulate a commute from the office to your home. By switching off your computer, taking a walk around the block and returning home you may be able to trick your mind into psychologically separating the two thanks to the physical act of leaving and returning. If leaving the house seems like too much effort, then you can try and take 10 minutes to do a little light exercise of yoga practice to bring that feeling of physical change to the body and mind.
Take Restorative Leisure
When you work from home and all your environments melt into one, it can be tricky to untangle your time. At the end of your workday, you really want to take some restorative downtime so that you are better equipped to avoid the risks of burnout. If you can, aim to outsource some of your home duty tasks (laundry, housework, dog walks, etc) so that you can peacefully slip away into the pages of a fun romance novel, or little Netflix binge, or any other activity that truly helps you to really fully relaxed. If outsourcing isn’t an option, then choose a couple of days a week to smash out all your chores so that on the other days you have time for restorative leisure.
What are your favorite tricks for switching off from work? Share in the comments.