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7 Tips On Turning Off Work Mode When You’re Not At Work

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7 Tips On Turning Off Work Mode When You’re Not At Work

Technology is great at keeping you connected to anything and everything in your life—except when it keeps you connected to the office. You can get in touch with your co-workers or access office files 24 hours a day, which can be detrimental to your social and family lives. Thankfully, there are some simple tips to help you untether yourself and make sure you’re turning off work mode when you’re not at work. Here are seven of them:

1. Don’t bring work home with you.

It sounds simple, but it’s often the hardest thing to do. Don’t bring home that file you didn’t get to at the office. You might think you’ll just glance over it, but in reality you’ll get sucked back into work mode while on family time. “One minute” turns into “I’m almost done!” and before you know it, your evening is shot. If you can’t tackle your entire workload at the office, let those remaining tasks roll over on tomorrow’s “To Do” list.

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2. Say, “No,” to after hours work commitments.

If your boss comes by at 4:45pm and asks you to stay late, don’t be afraid to say, “No.” You might feel like you’re letting down the team or putting your job on the line, but even the sternest boss knows that your family comes first. Don’t be seen as a pushover, or you’ll never have any free time again! Likewise, don’t feel pressured to go out for drinks at quittin’ time, or show your face at a birthday party for a co-worker whose name you don’t remember.

3. Schedule activities for quitting time.

Is there a gym membership burning a hole in your wallet? Use it! Go at 5pm every day. This will help you keep your New Year’s resolution of getting in shape, as well as ensuring you leave the office on time every day. Clock out on time to be sure you get to the post office before it closes, or to buy your groceries before late in the evening.

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4. Stay off of your computer.

Even if you enjoy spending your free time on the computer or surfing the web, it’s too easy to slip back into work mode once you find yourself sitting at a desk in front of a screen again. If you must get online after work hours, try to keep a list of things you need to look up or accomplish and stick to it. This will keep you from “accidentally” going back to work, but it will also prevent you from wasting your entire evening hopping from link to link.

5. Put down the cell phone and back away!

This is, without a doubt, going to be the hardest to accomplish. Your cell phone is your lifeline, with your phone contacts, calendar, To Do lists, and more. You might like to unwind at night by playing games on your phone, or exploring apps. However, your cell phone also has access to your email and work contacts. You might think you’ll just check to see if a reply has come through to your important email, or that you’ll call a co-worker just to chat. But it’s too easy to slip back into work mode this way. Try to put your phone away as soon as you get home from work, and forget about it until the next morning.

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6. Find something you like to do.

If you know you’re going to have a lot of trouble staying away from your phone and computer, find a new hobby you’ll enjoy. Having something non-technological to do in your free time will make it easier to stay away from work. Or is there an old hobby you haven’t had time for lately? Do you miss knitting blankets for your nieces and nephews? Baking is a relaxing hobby that gives you gifts to share with others. Maybe you used to read several books a month—why not go by the library and pick up some new titles?

7. Spend more time with your family.

Last but certainly not least: spend time with your loved ones! All of these tips leave you free to do so. Leave work on time and get your errands out of the way. Step back from your phone and computer. Once you get home, be completely available to your family. Cook dinner together and then sit down at the table to share your days. Find a hobby adults and children can have fun with. Have family movie nights complete with popcorn and candy. Once you distance yourself from your work life, you’ll have countless ideas of activities to do with your family—and plenty of time to do it!

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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