When you’re working from home it can sometimes be incredibly challenging to turn off your work brain and get back into home mode. That is why I’ve put together a list of tips to help you shut off at the end of the day while working from home.
Change Your Clothes
One of the biggest things you can do to help yourself turn your work brain off at the end of the day and move into at home mode is to change your clothes. What’s that you say, you’ve been working in your PJs? While that may feel great for your body it is actually doing harm to your mind. You don’t have to put on a tie or do makeup if you don’t want to, but for some people, it makes all the difference! Taking those work clothes off at the end of your workday will help you differentiate between the two times of day, home and work.
Have a Set Time for Your Work Day to End
You might think that because you’re working from home this means you can get up in the middle of the day and do laundry or take out the trash. But you should be treating your work time as though it were time you’re not at home. This means no household chores during work time and no work during home time. Have a set time for your workday to begin and end each day. I recommend keeping the same hours you would at work. So if you have a 9-5 office job, work 9-5 at home.
Turn on Do Not Disturb
At the end of the day turn on your do not disturb settings for Slack and any other tools your office uses. Don’t let your coworkers bother you after hours because they may not be following the rules for having set working hours and they’ll end up dragging you into something in your off time. Limit the opportunities for work to creep back into your life. I turn this on every day at 5pm. It’s helped me stop working on time. I also recommend (if you can) leaving your phone in the other room and enjoy your evening.
Close the Office Door for the Day
At the end of the day close your home office’s door and don’t go back into the room until work starts the following day. If this isn’t possible, maybe because you’re working from your bedroom or living room then pack away your laptop and phone in your work bag. Doing this creates a clear barrier between work and home. If you do end up wanting to use your home office again make sure that you spend some time away from the room making dinner or spending time chatting with family. This will give your brain time to transition away from work so the next time you go into the room you’re not thinking about work anymore and you can instead focus on playing a game or whatever else it was you were going to do.
Develop an Evening Routine
Finally, you should develop an evening routine that works for you and your family. This begins by having a set time for work to end, turning on your do not disturb, then packing away work for the night in whatever way works for you. What you do after that is entirely up to you. But try to make it the same every workday.