Work & Wellbeing

How to leave your work worries at the front door

4 min read

29 April 2019

We live in an age where we’re expected to never really switch off from ‘work mode’, with technology giving us access to our emails and social media wherever we are. But this is making us all stressed, affecting our sleep, spoiling time is meant to be spent with our families and generally doing nobody any good. For small business owners, it’s even more tempting to burn the candle at both ends, so what can be done to change this?

Here are some tips to help you start to leave behind when you walk through your own front door: Write it all down If you have a specific work-related problem that’s nagging away at you, the simple exercise of writing down your ideas for solving it or even just your feelings about it can help remove it from your mind and give you some peace.

Play a video game

The most fun tip on this list, you’ll be able to use it as a good excuse for picking up the PS4 controller when you get home from work. According to the New Jersey Medical School, going into a deep focus while playing a video game can help take your mind off work.

Try PMR Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises are good for deep relaxation because they move the focus from your mind to your body.

Doing it can be as simple as sitting in a chair, breathing and clenching the muscles in your body from your feet upwards.

Find a distraction

Sometimes you just need to exercise your mind and this can be done by listening to a clock ticking, counting the tiles in a wall or running your hands over the texture of your clothing or furniture.

Tell yourself to stop

Not a tip to try in public or around anyone who might be alarmed. But if you say a word out loud (like ‘stop’) it focuses your attention away from what’s on your mind.

Write an exit list every day

An exit list helps you to close off the day’s work and prepare for the next day. Write a list down of what you need to do tomorrow and then you won’t need to think about it again until you get to work again.

Close your tabs

Working for most of us means having a lot of tabs open at the same time in your internet browser. A good way of signalling to yourself that you’ve finished thinking about work is to close them all down and detach from what you were doing with them.

Turn on your ‘out of office’

It’s an important ritual when you go on holiday to signify that people shouldn’t expect a response from you, so why not do it at the end of every day? This should help you avoid worrying about your emails until you need to do so again.

Use your commute

Instead of thinking about work or – even worse – doing work on your commute to and from work, make use of the time to listen to a podcast, read a book or play a game.

Make a work-free zone at home

If you run your business from home, you need to find a separation between work and home, so that there’s a safe zone you can spend time not thinking about work.

Plan your downtime

As a small business owner, you spend a lot of your time planning a schedule and living to that routine, so why not put that energy into having fun?

Plan some fun activities to give yourself things to look forward to. We spend enough of our lives working, especially when we give ourselves the responsibility of running a business, but that doesn’t mean giving up on free time, so try these tips for giving yourself your life back.