8 Tips for Disconnecting From Work When You’re Off the Clock

By Chelsea Babin

If you don’t want to burnout, you may need to spend less of your free time focused on work. But, if you’re having a hard time disconnecting from work in the evenings or on the weekends, these 8 tips can help.

1. End of Day To Do List: One of the reasons you may not be able to effectively disconnect from work in the evenings or on the weekends is because you’re thinking about all the things you need to do when you get back to work. The best way to reduce these focus-stealing thoughts is to make a to do list at the end of every workday. You’ll have a guide that will help you get everything done when you’re back at work and, more often than not, you’ll see that you can complete these impending tasks without putting in extra hours in the evening or the weekend.

2. Turn Off Notifications: If you’re regularly getting email notifications from work or other work-related notifications it’s no wonder you’re having a hard time disconnecting when you’re off the clock! Turn off those notifications and you’ll be able to disconnect effectively.

3. Set Aside a Work Time Block if Needed: Sometimes you need to put in a few extra hours of work on the weekends or in the evenings. And that’s fine! As long as this isn’t an every day or every weekend necessity you can still get the work-life balance you need to prevent burning out. But, if you’re going to spend any of your time off the clock working, you need to set aside a designated time slot. Don’t let your work bleed over beyond those time boundaries.

4. Concrete Plans: If you have concrete plans to look forward to and keep you busy when you’re off the clock it will be a lot easier to disconnect from work. So reach out to friends, family, or people in your professional network and set up some concrete plans!

5. Engaging, Interesting Hobbies: If you love your job and don’t really have any other hobbies you’ll have a hard time disconnecting from work in the evenings or on the weekend. It’s time to develop some engaging, interesting hobbies that you enjoy. That way, when you’re off the clock, you can look forward to focusing on those pursuits and let work slip from your focus.

6. Side Projects You’re Passionate About: If you can’t seem to find hobbies outside of work that aren’t related to what you do, start a side project to further develop your work related skills. You’ll be focusing on something that benefits you in the long-run at work but doesn’t relate directly to your day-to-day, which will help prevent burnout.

7. Get Moving and Meditating: If you can’t focus on fun or relationships in your free time, you can at least focus on wellness. Regular exercise can help you stay more alert, productive, and healthy so you won’t need to take as many sick days. If nothing else you can distract yourself from thoughts of work by exercising. And, if you’re still thinking about work after you get moving, meditation may help you disconnect. These habits will help you focus on your wellness which will, in turn, help you be more productive and focused when you’re back at work. Wellness and work go hand in hand!

8. Communicate Your Boundaries to Limit Temptation: If your coworkers and bosses are used to you working regularly on your evenings and weekends, you need to communicate your new boundaries with them. Otherwise, they’ll reach out and you’ll be tempted to lend a hand or compromise your existing plans. Let them know you’re attempting to steady the scales of work-life balance and tell them how to reach you if it’s an emergency. Then, put your work away for the evening and focus on living your life!

Disconnecting from work when you’re off the clock is essential for work-life balance and preventing burnout. If you’re having a hard time focusing on anything but work in the evenings or on your weekends, these 8 tips should help you overcome that challenge.

 

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