The end of the working day is part of your routine.
We probably don’t think of it as such, but the culmination of the working day is as much a part of our work routine as taking calls and organising meetings.
In more ‘traditional’ times and settings, we know work has finished when we pack up our things and head home. The challenge begins when you’re already at home, since it’s all too easy for the line between work and “home” time to blur with the danger that the work day bleeds into both our before and after work time, simply because of where many of us find ourselves working now.
That’s why it’s helpful to develop a routine that signals the working day has formally ended, and allowing us to transition away from emails and work projects to personal time.
Closing our working day should be both simple and straightforward. Don’t just close your laptop – log off fully (which we should do anyway), turn it off and place it out of sight.
Do something completely different
- Cook – Previously, we looked at the benefits that preparing meals in advance can give, such as having more time to do other things during the week. So you might be putting the finishing touches to your pre-prepared meals or cooking from scratch – either way, setting time aside to cook will help signal to your brain that the working day is over, so enjoy the process.
- Exercise and Moving – Whether you’ve adopted exercise as a wellbeing tool following our article looking at the benefits of exercise, or are already a regular exerciser, using this part of the day to do your workout will help move your mind away from work.You may be a fan of online at-home workouts or you prefer going for a walk or run. Perhaps meditation is your go-to activity, or you love spending time catching up with family or friends.
- Read, Write, Watch – And of course you can make time for other hobbies and activities that help you unwind. That could be reading, writing and journaling or catching up on films, TV programmes or documentaries.
Whatever works for you, use it as a fun way to decompress, relax and refresh from your day, reminding yourself the work day has ended.
Today’s Take Away
As dedicated professionals, it can be easy to allow work to get in the way of our personal lives.
And this is especially true in times such as these where things have changed for us – whether we’re working from home or continuing to attend sites – as it provides a level of familiarity that may be missing.
By scheduling both work and home tasks, and creating boundaries between the two, you can establish a harmonious balance that will help you work effectively, look after your mental welfare and keep your body happy and healthy.