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How to unplug after a day working from home

We are living in the digital age which makes disconnecting difficult as channels of communication are always on. When working from an office there is that physical separation between professional and personal life, which makes ‘switching off’ easier.

With the majority of workplaces now working from home, it is more difficult to unplug at the end of the workday. Here are our tips to detach from work after office hours:

1. Create a ‘shutdown ritual’

At the end of your workday it is important to create a ‘shutdown ritual’ so you can leave work at the ‘office’, even though your office may be at home. It is important to replace and simulate your commute, which is a built-in shutdown ritual. For example, go for a walk, change out of your ‘work’ clothes or have a regular dinner time.

2. Don’t respond to non-critical emails after hours

Feeling the pressure to always be available to answer emails after hours is common, but it is not good practice. To help you disconnect, make a habit of not checking work emails in the evening. This will allow you to destress, recharge and feel fresh for the next day.

3. Remove your work from view

The 'out of sight, out of mind' theory is a great way to disconnect from your workday. If you see your briefcase or laptop around the house, you may automatically think about the work you need to do. Simply hiding work related items can prevent that work to-do list trigger. Make sure that your dedicated workspace is clean and clear at the end of the day, with your laptop packed away.

4. Accept your limits

Some days there aren’t enough hours to achieve everything on your to-do list. It is important to accept this and not put pressure on yourself to get everything done in a day. Prioritise urgent tasks and push your other tasks to the following day. There will always be something else that needs to be tackled so, at the end of the workday, write your new to-do list for the following day. It will stop you creating mental lists of the work you need to complete.

Unplugging after your workday is the key to a healthy work-life balance. Set boundaries, don't overcommit and enjoy your downtime. After some practice, you will be able to unwind after work and get the most out of working from home.

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