This is an all too common scenario that affects thousands of people all over the world, and it’s especially prevalent among entrepreneurs and artists. You love your work so much that you just can’t switch off.
You’re either working more than you planned to, or you can’t stop thinking about work even when you’re trying to sleep or in the middle of other activities such as eating, watching a movie, and so on.
Confucius once said,
“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
While that is true when it comes to finding job satisfaction and not dreading work, it doesn’t give one the license to obsess about work at the expense of everything else.
You still have to look after your health, your relationships, etc. Work is a means to an end and not an end in itself. Below, you’ll find five ways to help you switch off from work and find peace and satisfaction in other activities.
1. Make Interesting Plans
Try to create an interesting life for yourself. If you have something fun to do after your work, you’ll be more engaged in the activity rather than doing mental gymnastics thinking about your work.
People who work from home should make an effort to be more social and go out occasionally so that they don’t end up living in their heads all the time. Even introverts would do well to go outside for a walk and take in new sights and sounds.
The change of scenery will help to break the monotony and give you a mental break from the constant whirring of gears in your own mind. Be fun. Do fun things and enjoy life. It’s not all about work.
2. Avoid Checking Your Phone and Emails
Avoid checking your emails and answering work-related calls once your working hours are over. You don’t want to risk getting sucked back into ‘work mode.’
Very often, people check their emails, even during their leisure hours, without understanding that they’re actually sabotaging themselves. It’s even worse if you’re answering the emails or getting worked up over a difficult customer or situation.
Handle work issues during your working hours and switch off all access to you once you’re done for the day. It’s imperative that you draw boundaries if you wish to switch off from work on cue mentally.
3. Leave Work at Work
Avoid discussing work or work-related incidents when you’re back home. Find new topics to speak to your family about. Discuss plans for the next vacation. Or ask them what they’re watching on TV or how their day went.
The magic of life is in these moments when you show an interest in what those around you are doing. Time flies fast, and the work will always be there… but those close to you may not.
Appreciate the time you have with them. In time to come, it’s these memories that you’ll fondly look back on.
4. Start a New Hobby
Pick up a new hobby that you enjoy. It could be something you’ve always wanted to do. Rock climbing, yoga, knitting, dancing, learning a new language, etc., are all opportunities to stretch your mind and body.
Try not to be competitive about it and just seek to enjoy the hobby for what it is, something to pour your passion into. It shouldn’t become a new job. When you have a hobby you love, you’ll be glad to leave work and work on your passion.
At the end of the day, work is a part of your life. It is not life.
Understanding the difference will help you to treat work as an important activity but not an overarching one. Find balance, and both your work and life will improve.