How to Leave Work at Work
45% of specialists check their email after they have left the office. It seems to be a trifle - a couple of minutes spent on reviewing the inbox folder but how much time more do you spend on analysing what you have read, thinking over and writing a reply? Simple sorting the emails by folders leads to time expenditures. And this is the time taken away from yourself and your family. You cannot forget about work with a click of a button. However, it can be useful to look for “a secret button” in a metaphorical sense - the motives switching your mind from super important working matters to everyday life, communication and rest - because your health, happiness and by the way, your efficiency and career successes depend on it. There are three ways to stop doing your work in your personal time.
Include your personal plans in your schedule
How do we treat work tasks? We plan, write them down and set a deadline for each of them. Treat your personal plans in the same way. Are you going to take your child to a puppet show? Have you arranged a meeting with friends in a restaurant? Is it high time to take a course of massage for your tired back? Include everything in the common schedule (no matter if you write down your plans in a diary or use a special planning software). When you look through the today’s list of tasks, both work and personal tasks should be in front of your eyes. There is a psychological trick about it: by including personal plans in your schedule you let yourself know that events related to your family, hobbies or rest are as important as your work. The method is also useful because you are sure to remember your kid’s matinee, your mother-in-law’s birthday or booking the tickets to the concert.
You are relaxing in front of the TV or reading your favourite book or simply enjoying idling away your time. And suddenly your smartphone goes “Ding!”. A manager sends you a message in Viber asking to make a tiny correction in a document. “It’s a couple of minutes!” No way. A couple of minutes won’t be enough for sure. The next thing you know, a half of your evening has been spent in front of the computer. Take up a habit to ignore the messages in your off-hours. The same applies to phone calls. When you heroically take up work tasks in the evening, your colleagues, your boss and your clients have an impression that you are always ready to work. At any time of the day. On weekends. During your vacation. On a sick leave. And so on. Break the stereotype and say “no” to off-hour tasks. You don’t have to ignore the emails completely if your work requires constantly keeping up-to-date. You can look through emails quickly (quickly!) and do the following:
- Point out the urgent ones (basing on context, the sender and the topic)
- Ignore the non-urgent ones
- Delete casual ones
Let’s suppose while looking through the emails you have an idea and you want to write a reply immediately. Create a draft with an outline not to forget and complete the text in your work time.
Find a hobby which helps you to forget about work
When you have a hobby and you are all into it - you have very little time left on fanatic devotion to your work in your off-hours. Ask your colleagues if someone checks their inbox while skiing, performing in an amateur performance, filming a video, printing photos, cooking a wedding cake, etc. A keen person tries to spend as much time as possible on their hobby, they are selfish in a positive sense (regarding their job) and this helps to keep the notorious work-life balance. Follow this advice and get closer to the wisdom and harmony perfection (to harmony with yourself in the first place).