How To Disconnect From Work (Plus Why it’s Important)
As your career develops, it may become harder and harder to balance your personal life from your work life. We sat down with the Vice President of Global Communications at @Fender, Christina Stejskal, to discuss how she manages her own work-life balance.
No matter your job in the workforce, it’s important to establish clear boundaries between your work and home life. A good work-life balance can help you find greater job satisfaction and may improve your mental health. Knowing how to disconnect from work can ultimately provide you with benefits for both your personal and professional life.
In this article, we explain the benefits of disconnecting from work and list the steps for doing this.
What are the benefits of disconnecting from work?
Disconnecting from work comes with several benefits for your personal and professional life, including :
- Promotes work-life balance: Unwinding from work means you have time for hobbies or for spending quality time with your family and friends. A strong work-life balance can even lead to improved engagement, job satisfaction and productivity.
- Improves productivity: Having time to relax and step away from work can give your brain the rest it needs before returning to work. When you do things unrelated to work, you may feel motivated to perform at your best once you’re back in the office.
- Lowers stress: When you disconnect from work, you no longer have to think of your job obligations, responsibilities or deadlines. Essentially, coming home to recuperate after a long and exhausting workday may ease tension and lower your stress levels.
How to disconnect from work
If you’re looking for a way to separate your work and home life, you have many options to consider. Knowing the various methods for disconnecting from work can help you find the right solution. Here’s how to disconnect from work, whether you work onsite or at home:
1. Create a separate workspace
If you work from home, it’s important to have a dedicated office or workspace where you can work away from the rest of your home. Not only does this setup help you separate your work life from your home life, but it may also mean fewer distractions and greater productivity. When you create your home office or workspace, make sure to clean and organize the area before and after your shift to get you in the right mindset.
2. Set screen boundaries
Many people stare at a computer screen all day during work, only to go home and stare at more screens, whether via laptop, phone or TV. If you spend your workday looking at a blue-light-emitting device, consider setting some screen limits after work. Here are some tips for setting screen boundaries:
- Create a less tech-centered environment. If you don’t need technology for a certain task, consider placing your tech gadgets out of reach while you work. For example, you can put your TV remote in another room or turn off your computer after your shift, so you’re less motivated to use them.
- Avoid late-night device usage. Instead of staring at your phone or tablet before bed, consider replacing these devices with a book. Staying away from any technology before bed can give your brain the rest it needs and let you avoid staring at a screen for longer than needed.
- Use a screen time commitment application. Consider using a device or app that alerts you when you’ve exceeded your screen time limit. Some apps even let you set time limits on certain websites or apps on your devices.
3. Do something you enjoy
After a long day at work, consider doing something you enjoy. Think of an activity that challenges you but also helps you get your mind off work. Consider a hobby like knitting or an activity like hiking.
Working on a hobby may even improve your focus and creativity for your return to work. You can also spend this time learning something new. Ultimately, doing something nonwork-related can give your brain much-needed rest.
4. Spend time alone
Many jobs involve meetings, calls and collaborating with your colleagues and supervisors. Whether you’re an introvert or expert, set aside time to be alone with your thoughts after work.
Taking time for yourself can help you unwind and recover after a long day at work. Solitude can also help you feel more in tune with your emotions and thoughts and help you process everything with greater ease. Here are some ways to spend time alone after work:
- Read a book by yourself.
- Go for a quick walk after dinner.
- Meditate once you come home from work.
- Go for a short drive after work.
5. Set a start and end time
If you work from home, you often have the liberty to choose when to start and end your shift. To help you disconnect from work, establish a routine so you know when it’s time to step away.
Having a set time range can also help you stay focused during those hours so you can end your shift when you originally planned. If you plan to work certain hours, let your team know when you’re available and unavailable.
6. Plan ahead
Planning ahead can help you schedule time to disconnect from work. Every Monday, plan your schedule for the rest of the week and find some time to take a break and unwind. Knowing the times of your meetings and when you’re often the busiest at work can help you schedule quality time to relax and destress.
7. Set aside time for lunch
Whether you work onsite or at home, make time for a lunch break. Consider setting a recurring time on your calendar for you to take lunch. While you can eat at your desk, a change of scenery can help you properly disconnect. Consider taking lunch with coworkers or eating by yourself if you want to be alone with your thoughts.