Trouble Leaving Work at Work? 5 Ways to Truly Disconnect at Home

published Sep 20, 2014
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

As more and more of us work more, work from home and are more connected to work than ever before, plenty of us are finding it difficult to truly disconnect from work. We find ourselves checking in just in case. Trying to get ahead when we find some free time — instead of doing a hobby. We find ourselves letting work worries cloud our non-work time. If you’re one of the many who has trouble disconnecting from work on the weekends and in the evenings, try one of these tips today.

1. Take the long — and more scenic — route home
We don’t all have the luxury of time, but if you do have extra minutes, consider walking, biking or driving a longer, more enjoyable route home. The extra time —and scenery to ponder — will help create a cushion between work life and home life, and may put you in a happier place to start your free time.

2. Have a ritual as soon as you get home
As soon as you step through your front door, begin an after-work ritual that will help put more mental distance between you and your work day. That could changing out of work clothes, pouring a cup of hot tea and spending time with your furry roommates. Or anything else that relaxes you can you can replicate after every work day. It’ll go a long way to.

3. Have a hidden place to keep work stuff when you get home
It’s not always feasible, but if you’ve got the room, we suggest hiding your work stuff — your briefcase, your laptop — in a spot literally out of view the entire weekend. The “out of sight, out of mind” theory might help you disconnect more.

4. Keep a note pad/white board in a spot you can jot down worries/thoughts/ideas for work
You’re going to have ideas come up. Or worries. Or things you want to remember. But unless it’s something that absolutely has to be tackled immediately, physically write it down to get it out of your head — and then forget all about it until the next work day.

5. Don’t beat yourself up if you do need to do something
But do tackle anything you need to do quickly and without procrastinating so you can have more free time after you finish work tasks. Having free time to let your brain rest and not think about work is one of the best ways to cultivate creativity and be even better at work.

How do you disconnect fully from work on your evenings off and on the weekends? Share your tips in the comments below!