Is it an overstatement to say that our minds haven’t turned off since 2020?
Now that we’re all working from home, we no longer have the same separation that used to break up the workday.
Before, even the most intense workaholics had to spend time commuting to and from the office. Or, getting dressed for the big meeting and then coming home and switching into PJs. We went out to lunch, spoke to colleagues by the watercooler, and had an extremely varied work life.
Today, it’s not the same picture. The day-in-day-out workflow doesn’t have all the color and spice that it did before. Some people’s commute is only a few steps. We wake up, hit the computer, eat lunch in front of the screen, and work until (or even past) the sun goes down.
It’s 2021 and We Now Live in the Office
We now work and live in the same space. This is comfortable, but it also means that you’re technically always at work.
Your mind doesn’t have the break between personal and professional.
Your mind is now dealing with the constant blend of the two. You’re working on tasks and the kids want to play, and you’re cleaning the house on a Sunday and get a last-minute project. There’s no barrier between work, play, and personal.
Since this is new territory for many of us, I notice that people are struggling with clocking in and out.
Let’s look at how to actually "turn off" your work mode when you're working from home:
Build a Work Space
It’s all about location. Give yourself the experiential stimulation of “going to work” by having a special area set up. Whether this is in a spare room, or at a desk in your bedroom, create an ambiance for getting in the zone.
Being able to get up and walk away will help you phase in and out of work mode.
Turn Off Work Notifications After 5 PM
Even if you do your best to get out of the work mindset, one work-related notification can kick off an hour-long thought current on work. The reality is, you can get to it in the morning. Help yourself unplug from the workday by blocking notifications past 5 PM.
Put Your Phone in a Drawer
Every time you pick up your phone, you’re risking lost time on projects.
If you’re working, separate from the constant notifications by putting your cell phone away. Out of sight, out of mind, right? The more time you spend scrolling, the longer you’ll spend at the desk.
Know Your Flow
Successful WFH flows require discipline, flexibility, and honesty.
You need to be real with yourself about your workplace needs. Optimization doesn’t look the same for everyone. You need to be able to know what helps you get in the zone and what totally throws off your mojo.
Finding Balance is Important Because It Matters
You’ve been going nonstop while working from home. It’s time to get back to a balanced rhythm.