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Are you a self-employed mom who runs her own business or works as a freelancer or other type of contractor from home so you can be around your children? Or perhaps you’ve switched to working from home for your employer after the global pandemic showed companies how feasible remote work could be?

Key Ways to Turn Off Your Mind When You Work From Home

Either way, there are many benefits to enjoy from doing your job at your place rather than traveling into an office. There can be some downsides, though, too. For instance, you might find that it’s pretty tricky to switch your brain off each day because the temptation to keep doing and thinking about work is so high when it’s right there. If so, it’s crucial to find some ways to turn your mind off and have the break from work and stress that you need.

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Clearly Define Your Workspace

The first step is to ensure you have a clearly defined workspace in your home. You want somewhere delineated so that your work life won’t run into your home life when you’re trying to switch off. For example, suppose you can set up a separate office with a door you can walk out of and shut at the end of the day. In that case, that should help to let your brain know that it’s time to move from work to personal time. If you can’t utilize a separate room, set up a curtain or screen in an area to give you some separation.

Also, even though it may be tempting to move from room to room to get a change of scenery when you work, it’s wise to confine your office hours to a single part of your home. This way, your brain will associate only that area with work, and you won’t constantly be reminded of jobs that need doing by seeing work stuff spread around your property.

Create a Routine for Yourself

It is beneficial if you can create a routine for yourself, too. For instance, keep at least semi-regular hours, so you start and finish each day around the same time. Having working hours in place will help you avoid getting into the habit of continuing to complete your job long after you should have finished up for the day.

You might like to set the alarm on your phone, watch, or computer to remind you when it’s time to start wrapping up each day, at least until you get used to your schedule. Remember that you don’t have the usual visual cues that the workday is over when you do your job from home solo, such as other people packing up and leaving. Creating some cues for yourself will aid you in switching off more effectively.

Spend Time Determining Your To-Do List and Schedule

It’s also easier to move your mind from work to leisure mode if you spend time at the end of your day coming up with a to-do list and schedule for the following one. Order your task list with the highest priority first and think about how long each job will take and if you need to travel to and from meetings at another location. Plan out your routes for each spot you need to head to the next day if you do.

This planning will let your brain relax in the evening, knowing you’re not going to forget things you have to do later. It will also help you avoid the trap of doing “just one more thing” before you finish for the day.

Develop Helpful Rituals

Another way to switch your brain off is to develop some helpful rituals you perform daily to signal to your mind that it’s time to transition from one area of your life to another. For example, when you finish your work tasks, you might go and take a shower or have a bath and rub some soothing CBD lotion on your body to relax you or do some stretching or foam rolling to get the knots out.

You might have a cup of tea to wind down, read a chapter in a book, or have a conversation with a loved one about your days, too. Packing up paperwork, powering down your computer, and switching off lights in your office are also everyday rituals you could put in place. It all depends on what suits you and your lifestyle and habits. Setting up at least a few simple steps you can go through every day, though, should soon train your brain how and when to decompress from a busy day.

Conclusion

These are some simple yet effective ways to change from an always-on worker to someone who has more balance in their life, even when they do their job from home. It takes some commitment and perseverance to make this reset happen, but you’d be surprised by how quickly you can recalibrate.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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