With many of us logging into our “work from home” situation, we’ve been thrust into managing how to properly disconnect from work, as our work literally lives with us.

Just like with the physical workplace, it’s important to discover ways that you can disconnect from your work physically and mentally once you’re done working on a given day.

This is not an easy task, as working from home can be somewhat distracting, potentially making the workday feel longer as you space out your tasks in the comfort of your home.

[:en]working at home can be distracting[:]

Some of us have the benefit of a home office, where we can physically leave our work and enter this workplace as we please.

However, others of us, myself included, have shifted our bedrooms into our workplace, which can often make it challenging to shift out of work mode when we close our computers or tasks for the day.

Here you’ll learn why it’s important to shift out of work mode, the benefits of disconnecting, and how to effectively disconnect from work.

With the provided tips and subsequent support through implementing mindfulness into your schedule, you can establish a more effective approach to your workday.

Why Disconnecting from Work is Essential

Approximately half of cell-phone users sleep with their phones next to them at night to not miss any important calls (Pew Research Center).

What percentage of that population sleeps next to their phone due to work reasons? I’d estimate that the number is rather high.

[:en]sleeping with cellphone[:]

How often do you check your phone or email after work hours? One study found that a majority of the 365 participants reported experiencing emotional exhaustion from checking emails after work hours, as “a result of the inability to turn-off”.

Emotional exhaustion due to constantly being “on-call” is becoming more and more common for individuals in a variety of professions.

When you add the global pandemic, resulting in a vast majority of individuals working from home, one could only imagine just how emotionally exhausted people truly are.

It’d be reasonable to assume that working from home could also influence the likelihood of work being constantly on the mind throughout the week and weekend, now that many are unable to physically leave their work behind when they finish that day.

A study conducted by Enterprise Rent-A-Car found that among respondents aged 25 and up, 67% said they work on a typical weekend, 63% said their employers expect them to work weekends, and 61% said they find it difficult not to think about work over the weekend.

[:en]emotional exhaustion from not disconnecting from work[:]

Emotional exhaustion is just one consequence of not practicing disconnecting from work.

Benefits of Disconnecting from Work

The 3 main benefits of disconnecting from work are better sleep, deepening the connections to those around you, and restoring or broadening your creativity.

Think back to a time when you successfully disconnected after work and felt the physical relief of letting your work go for that day.

What did that day feel like for you? What did you notice you did that helped you to engage in that disconnect? What were you able to accomplish for yourself due to that disconnect?

Studies have found that successfully disconnecting from work at the end of each day can encourage better sleep. When you feel rested, how does your approach to that following day shift?

One study found that when individuals used electronics before they went to bed, they had a delay in the dispersion of melatonin —the chemical that your brain makes to help you fall asleep —.

I know that I did that two nights ago —and subsequently dreamed of my next assignment after tossing and turning attempting to fall asleep (i.e. my delay in production of melatonin).

Successfully disconnecting from work can also deepen your connections and relationships with those around you.

[:en]deepen your connections[:]

When we’re constantly focused on what we have to do next in relation to our work, we aren’t actively present in that given moment. This could be checking our emails while at dinner with a loved one.

Engaging in the present moment helps us to notice our blessings around us. Because of these deepened connections to the world around us, think about how much more creative we can be.

Your brain can’t be “on” at all times —sometimes we really need that disconnect just to simply be— with no restraints or strings attached.

Who knows, you may even have your next great idea to present to your team with the subsequent disconnect and reconnection to the world around you.

How to Effectively Disconnect from Work

Follow these 4 tips when disconnecting from your workday.

1) Find a new hobby!

[:en]discover new hobbies[:]

Work can be fun and exciting at times, but don’t make it your hobby. Instead, find something that brings you joy and nourishment within your life.

This could be painting, running or exercising, or simply challenging yourself to engage in a new self-care practice every day.

Finding a hobby that brings you joy can encourage your accountability in disconnecting from work, as you know you’ll have this treat to engage in once you truly disconnect.

2) Having a ritual or routine when you get home from work

[:en]have a routine[:]

Following a routine also emphasizes the practice of accountability. Try creating a winding down routine or ritual you do each day when you’re finished working.

This could be making yourself a cup of tea and sitting quietly for five minutes before engaging in whatever you need to do next.

Following this routine also lets your brain know you’re moving onto other activities and you can mentally release the previous tasks you were working on.

3) Redesigning your workspace to be less tech-centric

[:en]less tech centric environment[:]

As mentioned, constantly using technology impacts the way we think without us often realizing it.

If possible, try to create a workspace that meets your needs in what you must accomplish, but is diverse in the way you can conduct such requirements.

For example, try completing your work each day in different spaces —try working from a comfortable chair or stand for a few minutes while responding to emails.

Try gradually reducing the amount of tech around you as you go about your day, to make the transition from disconnecting from work slightly easier.

4) Put your electronics on “do not disturb” mode

[:en]do not disturb mode[:]

Communicate with your colleagues that you’ll be unavailable from a specific time on in the evenings.

Then, hold yourself accountable to that. Our phones have a magic feature that allows us to set boundaries around how we can be reached after work hours —use it unapologetically.

To Sum Up:

Disconnecting from work can be a challenging task, especially since working from home has become much more common.

Therefore, this article presents you with the reasons why disconnecting is important and ideas on how to disconnect each day.

While these specific tips may or may not work for you, I encourage you to tailor them to your own needs and requirements.

Part of the process of successfully disconnecting is figuring out what really works for you and sticking to that.

In addition to these tips, practicing gratitude and mindfulness can positively impact such a process.

Mindshine offers various programs to choose from that encompass goals you would like to work towards. For example, creating healthy boundaries as a goal to work towards nicely compliments the disconnect process from your workload.

Download the Mindshine App (iOS or Android) and check our personalized goal plans that give you the tools you will need to stimulate and maintain motivation.

You can find more about Confidence, Productivity, and Happiness in our Magazine.