You invest in your business financially, physically and emotionally. You work longer and harder than anyone else because you know that’s what your business needs to succeed. You know what else your business needs to succeed? You, not burnt out. And that means disconnecting from work.
First things first – Before you can disconnect, it’s essential you’re confident that someone is minding the store and will contact you if needed.
- Set realistic expectations at your company or office. Let your management team and coworkers know exactly when, how and why you should be contacted after office hours.
- Designate one person (if possible two who can switch off) that will be the first person contacted with any questions or issues that may arise. Make sure every team member has those numbers with clear instructions on when and why to use them.
Ok, now the hacks…
#1 Hack Disconnect from Work
Plan your off hours like you plan your work week. Yes, actually plan and schedule your off time.
Albeit on a smaller scale, give your off-time the time, energy and focus you give your business planning, because it’s just as important to your company’s success.
Does this mean actually adding a binge watching weekend afternoon or an hour after work of Grand Theft Auto to my calendar, you ask? If that’s what floats your boat and finds your remote, yes.
#2 Hack – Discount From Work Change Your Routine. Ritual. Practice. (Whatever you want to call it.)
The key to this hack is creating routines that signal your brain that it’s time to disconnect from work. Once you’ve trained your brain, just beginning the routine gets you in the zone.
At the office, before you leave.
Creating an end-of-the-day office ritual signals your brain that it’s time to disconnect.
- Give yourself a reason to leave the office at a certain time. PAY for a fun after-work activity like an exercise class (also a great way to burn-off stress), a class relating to a hobby you love or have always wanted to take up, learning a new language (only if it’s for fun), club/organization meeting, lecture series, etc. Having something fun to leave the office for will motivate you more than knowing you’re going home to do laundry.
s. Pay for said activities and do them with friends when possible – you’ll be more likely to attend.
- Clean up your desk. Organize, throw out the old coffee and put the renegade pens back in the cup. It’s a tried and true way to mentally close-out the day plus an organized desk is a great way to start the morning.
On your way home.
- A great playlist or an audio book. Both are really easy ways to disconnect by completely immersing yourself in another mood.
- A guided meditation (only if you carpool or use mass transit!). Guided meditation = zero effort. Just plug in your earbuds and follow along on your way home. Lots of great themes, like de-stress, anger release, peace, etc. Many are free and they’re as short as 10 minutes or as long as 40+.
If you’ve started to disconnect from work at the office or on your way home, these will seal the deal.
- Exercise. Run, bike, go to the gym, whatever. It’s so good for you in so many ways and you know it. Exercise.
- Take a hot bath. Yeah, I know, but you don’t have to do the whole bubbles and candles thing (unless you want to) and good hot bath with some mellow music will remove a world o’ troubles.
- You like to cook? Begin planning your meal while you’re still at the office, go grocery shopping on your way home and cook your little heart out.
- The simple act of being mindful while doing a task is downright therapeutic and helps you disconnect. Bonus: you might end up with some cool stuff you made yourself.
- If you didn’t disconnect from work on your way home, leaving the day on paper when you walk in the door will reduces stress levels. Plus, putting things on paper forces you to break down your problems and when done consistently, it’ll help you spot patterns you may be repeating.
- Out of sight – out of mind. If possible – keep all work related things out of sight. If glancing at your laptop case or stack of papers reminds you of that thorny problem/client and sets your mind spinning again, it’s a sure sign that keeping these items out of sight is a must to disconnect.Bonus: this also helps train your mind not to expend mental/emotional energy on a situation you’re not going to deal with right now anyway.
Create A New Routine
These are just a few ways to disconnect from work and give your brain the time it needs to clear, recover and prime itself for action. You’ll be more refreshed and have better insights and less stressed. These new routines will help you switch off and become more productive and allow you to get a balance in your professional and personal life.
Take care of yourself. Remember, YOU are the goose that lays the golden egg.