We show you how to draw the line between home and work time.
1. Don’t take work home with you
It’s important to keep work at the office and leave it there. When you get home, it is essential to spend your time connecting with loved ones and even yourself. This enables you to build your relationships with people outside your workspace and replenish your energy for when you go back to work the next day.
- Leave your laptop, paperwork and reading at the office – even if you decide to do this two or three nights a week, it’s an important step in the right direction.
- Switch off the email capability on your phone after 6pm. This is important because often when you see an email coming through, you are tempted to open it and deal with the matter immediately.
- Clear your mind as you make your way home by listening to music that relaxes you and not continuing your workday by taking calls and checking emails. Consciously focus on making the mental shift from being in the office to being at home.
- Keep a journal in your car so that when you arrive at home after your work day, you can sit in the car for five minutes and write down all your outstanding action items that are on your mind from work. This will help you to set these actions aside and know that you can deal with them the next day.
2. Find the balance
On one hand, it is important to maintain a level of professionalism at work and to leave the personal ‘stuff’ outside of the work environment. On the other hand, it is important to build relationships at work with colleagues, managers and staff members through allowing others to see the personal side of you and share some of your authentic self with them. Being at either extreme will not serve you well. Striking the balance between letting people into your personal world just enough so that they have a sense of who you are and what is truly important to you and maintaining professionalism and effectiveness in your work is ideal.
3. Set boundaries
If we fail to set boundaries, work issues encroach on our personal life. We take up the position of a rescuer and end up taking on more than 50% of the responsibility. We do things for others before even being asked, we don’t really believe that the other person can do things and so this position keeps them in a victim position, not believing in themselves and their potential. Our doing more than our share and taking work home stops the other person from developing. Our fanaticism around work may be an outdated way of trying to feel worthy.
4. Give yourself a break
Many of us have the ‘superhuman syndrome’. We have to be everything to everyone, and we come last. If you feel that you’ve changed as a person, then you’re trying to do too much and you aren’t separating home and business life.
5. Learn to say “no”
It’s much easier to say ‘no’ than to make excuses why you didn’t do what you promised. You don’t need a reason either. If you get into reasons, you will have to defend it in some way. People will always be able to help you get the reason out of the way if they want you to do something for them. Just repeat the word ‘no’ until they get it. They will get used to your assertiveness and respect you for it.
by: Sonja Raath