The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the way that many businesses and industries function and produce their good and services. What at the beginning of 2019 considered a forced work “experiment” became a new normal for many people. However, while working from home came with its definite perks (like not having to commute and working in pajamas), it also came with some heavy drawbacks. The most important one that people seemed to struggle with was always feeling connected to work even when they weren’t working. Here are three ways to disconnect when it feels like you are always connected.
Set Physical Boundaries
While some people were working from home before the pandemic even hit, it was the first-timers who seemed to struggle the most with finding a balance. One helpful thing to do is to physically define the spaces where work will be done. Dedicate a corner or nook in your home where you can set up your laptop/desktop and turn it into your official workstation. Since you are going to be home all day anyway, remove any email notifications from your phone as well. This will help you disconnect from work when you aren’t at your station, and also help you focus on work when it’s work time.
Create a Schedule and Eliminate Distractions
Depending on how your employer handles work-from-home situations, you may not have to adhere to the traditional 9-5 schedule anymore. However, this has caused more problems than conveniences for many. Since the pandemic began, many remote workers have reported that they are working more hours than when they used to go into the office. After all, a lack of commute and instant communication with smartphones makes many feel obliged to always be on the clock. This results in longer hours worked, and a mind that’s always focused on work rather than relaxing during off-hours. Setting a strict schedule for yourself will help you realize that work has its time limits. It will also let you stay focused during work hours and help you relax once you’re off the clock for the day. Creating a schedule for your workday will allow you to truly experience the freedom that remote work provides.
Create a Ritual That Indicates the Day is Over
We do several things in our day to transition from one activity to another. For example, everyone usually has a morning routine. Each part of the routine lets us know where our mental focus is going to go next. A jog in the morning indicates to us that a shower will follow. A shower then shifts our focus to personal hygiene and getting dressed. Getting dressed lets us know to get ready to prepare breakfast, and so on. These are all routines and patterns we adopt to give our lives order and direction. However, when working from home, the lines for these routines often become blurred. All of a sudden, the clock hitting 5 p.m. doesn’t mean you rushing to your car to beat traffic. While it may not seem important, this simple act helped serve as a “mental checkout” from work for the day.
As a remote worker, the clock striking five may just seem like the clock’s hand passing by another number. Creating a new routine to “mentally checkout” when working from home will help you relieve you of constant on-the-clock stress and help you relax more in your off-the-clock hours. This routine does not have to be complicated or long, but it does have to help you shift your focus from “work” to “done for the day.” It might include completely powering off your computer and lights at your workstation. It may be putting on a specific song that helps you relax and disconnect from the work task at hand. Whatever it is, make sure it helps shift your mental focus from “on the clock” to “gone fishing.”
Remote work has provided many people with freedoms that previously seemed impossible. However, newcomers to the scene can quickly become overwhelmed by the lifestyle if they don’t get a good grasp on it. Learning to disconnect when you’re always connected is not only an important skill to learn for remote work but personal health as well. Our minds and bodies can only take so much information and working hours, so helping them relax during off-hours is vital to our health. If you feel like you are suffering from certain or several neurological disorders, reach out and contact us. Our team starts by listening to you, and we do everything possible to make sure you feel at ease every step of the way.