Do you lie awake thinking about work sometimes? Do you feel guilty if you don’t immediately answer an incoming e-mail at night? Do you think a lot about your job during the weekend? Then it’s time to create some distance between you and the work space. Here’s how you do that.
No matter how important the points on your to do list are, prioritizing is always possible. If you start feeling stressed, try to take a rational look at your lists. What’s the most important thing? And, if you really need to finish everything today, which chore needs to have the highest quality (and which ones don’t have to be perfect)?
Are you the kind of person who likes to finish chores as soon as possible, because you feel it’s better not to postpone things? It might cause a lot of frustration, because it’s not always possible to finish things today. Challenge yourself to postpone chores more often. Make realistic to do lists with things you’re actually able to finish today, and put the rest on tomorrow’s list.
Neglect your phone
The phone is a source of work related stress. If an email from a colleague (or your boss) pops up while you’re cooking, watching TV, riding your bike, chances are you immediately feel some tension. It helps to delete your business mail account from your phone. That way, you have to deliberately start your computer. It’s wise to put your phone away after eight o’clock at night, or put it on flight mode. And whatever you do, don’t take it into the bedroom. If you make the place where you sleep a work-free zone, you will get more rest.
Create a quiet place
Take the time to clean up your working space regularly. Not just your desk, but your computer as well (or any kind of work place). It may not seem like the most important chore, but it actually is important: if your space is clean and neat, your mind will be more peaceful.
Identify with other things
If you’re an ambitious person, chances are you identify with the job you do. Imagine you would be forced to do something completely different: how would you feel? Think of other aspects of your life that determine who you are. It helps to put the importance of work into perspective, and to enjoy the times when you are doing other things – like walking, eating, making music, singing, taking the dog for a walk, exercising… the list is endless.
Focus on what you’re doing
A little mindfulness goes a long way. It helps you to distance yourself from work. Try to focus on the moment, whatever you are doing: working, taking a break, relaxing on the couch. It takes some practice, but it will help you to find rest. Ironically, this rest will make you more productive when you’re working.
Text: Dorien Vrieling - Photo: Natalia Figueredo