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

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 July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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