How to stop thinking about work after hours (and why it’s important)

If your job is your passion, that makes you a pretty lucky soul. Maybe you found your dream job, or you created it for yourself by establishing a business.

Either way, you’re first to arrive, last to leave. Even when you’re not working you’re thinking about work.

That’s great! Or is it? Well, all apart from the ‘never stops thinking about work’ thing. If your mind is constantly spinning with to-do lists, work worries, and ironing out new ideas, your health and your productivity can suffer. Before you know it, your dream job isn’t a dream any more. It has become a monster that’s taken over your life.

To keep that work-life balance productive and enjoyable, it is important to switch off your inner professional in those moments you have set aside for relaxing or spending time with friends and family (whether you consider the latter ‘relaxing’ or not)!

The cleanest way to make that break is to develop an ‘exit strategy’ for when you finish work each day. If you work away from home, change clothes for your journey and plan a meaningful commute (try this easy mindfulness exercise).

Shut down your computer properly, and fill a Post-It with your to-do list for the next day. That should stop you going over it in your head when you’re supposed to be asleep.

If you work at home, try to separate your work zone from your leisure or family zone. Keep your laptop out of the living room and bedroom. You can even lock your study door when you leave.

This new guide to forgetting about work after hours is packed with tips like these. Close down your work mind at the end of the day and let your subconscious put in the overtime for you. It’s a win-win all round.

Photo by Jake Melara