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Leave Work at the Office and Gain Critical Time With Your Family
Separate Work from Family
If your spouse comes home in a bad mood after a long day at work, jokingly tell him to go out and come back in again.
The high-stress society in which we live often makes it difficult to separate our work lives from our home lives. Because we take issues from work home with us, they are always on our minds.
- Although the tasks we do at our job are interdependent with our daily life, it’s necessary to leave our work concerns behind when we go home to relax and find a quiet place.
We have some tips that really work for leaving work at the office so that you can relax at home.
1. Follow a daily schedule. Plan the number of hours that you will work. When you are “off work,” be “out of the office,” even if you have to ignore your phone and emails. The world won’t come to an end if you sit down to a peaceful family dinner and let the machine pick up your calls.
Accept that you can wait until the next morning at work to deal with these things. Teach yourself to do this.
- If the only way to get family time or ‘you’ time is to schedule it, do so. Before long you will be able to appreciate your scheduled down time.
- Let your cell phone, Blackberry, or beeper take the message once you are inside your house. Leave your messages for tomorrow morning when you return to work.
Moms who are at home all day may find this particularly challenging, but you can teach your children to follow your schedule. Once they are in bed, tell them Mommy is retiring for the night, and take some time for yourself. Children tend to respect these boundaries, and other people who are looking to take up your time can learn to do so too.
2. Put on different clothing. You have to keep up specific standards with your work clothes, but when you get home and change into something more comfortable, it is an opportunity to relax.
- Whether your work clothes consist of a uniform or a business suit, changing out of them into something more comfortable at home signals your mind that work is over for the day.
- Change into some comfortable slippers as soon as you step inside your door. Keep them handy near the door.
3. Allow yourself an appropriate amount of time to de-stress. You may want to relax in a comfy chair with a favorite book or drink. Whatever your favorite de-stressor, be sure to make it clear that you’re not up for interruptions until you indicate that you’re ready.
- If you would rather not be tackled by your children as soon as you come home, set up guidelines with your wife or children that allow you some time to de-stress.
- Let your trip home be a chance to lower your stress level, especially if you commute via public transit. Some ways to relax are to listen to music on your personal device or just look out the window, and you will be calm by the time you get home.
- But I am not suggesting that you remain in de-stress mode for the rest of the night! Once you have separated your mind from work, participate in family life.
4. Create a physical barrier to define your work area. As many people are starting to work from home, they are discovering it’s not easy to keep work and home life separate. Divide off a section of your house that is exclusively for work and not for family, and keep it separate from your family area.
- Set up a certain room as your work space, or create a separate work area within a room by using a divider or wall to prevent the possibility that you become involved in work when you are supposed to be engaged with your family.
- If you work on a laptop, resist the temptation to carry it out of the work area of your home into the family area. It’s tempting to let work distract you from your family in the evening.
Becoming aware that your schedule is under your control will calm you and give you mental peace. Do not allow your boss to control your life when you are not in the work environment. You’ll be more content, more healthful, and get more done if you devote time to yourself and your loved ones. Be kind to yourself — you deserve it!