With remote working becoming the norm, unplugging from work has gotten harder. Work hours have stretched longer. In a blink of an eye, you’ve to go from a business meeting to making dinner for your kids in the kitchen.
There’s no buh-bye-ing everyone at work or commuting home. When there’s no change in the environment, your mind doesn’t understand the transition.
Creating a transition or a shutdown ritual signifies your mind to switch gears. It conveys that work is done for the day and life at home begins. Creating this mental shift is a tiny step towards better work-life balance.
Set e-boundaries by turning off work notifications
In our mindful monday blog, we suggested not to look at your smartphone first thing in the morning. Same way, don’t look at it after completing work in the evenings.
Don’t surrender your personal time to work notifications. They can wait till the next morning. Transitional rituals are not only about ending work. It's also about ending work thoughts.
Recreate commute by taking a walk or running an errand
We know you hated packed subways and busy roads. But it communicated the work-home-transition to your mind. Now the commute has shrunk to walking a few steps from your work table to your couch. That’s not a distinguishable enough transition for your mind.
Recreate your commute by doing a commute-like activity. Walk or your dog, take a jog or run errands, anything that works for you.
Dress up for work and change to PJs after
We love the flexibility of working in PJs and working from bed. The lines in your mind get blurred and start thinking “am I working or am I sleeping?”. And your back definitely curses you for your terrible sitting position.
Get yourself into office wear before you begin your work day. It signifies your mind that it’s time to immerse yourself in work. Reverse it by switching to comfortable PJs in the evenings.
Bring in a new dimension to your space with aroma/music
The best way to transition your mood is through your senses. Music, aromas and colors influence mindspace. It helps change your mood from one to another.
When your workday ends, dim the lights or close the curtains to block outside light or vice versa. Create and listen to your end-of-workday playlist. Light an incense and soak in a new aroma. Your senses recognize the transition and help your mind adapt to the change.
Whisper a transition mantra to yourself
Tell yourself—“done for the day”; “outta here”; “tuning out for the day” or “shutdown complete”. Or create one of your own mantras. When you whisper a transition mantra to yourself, your mind releases the work energy. It calms you down to think of what’s next.
Unplugging from work is as important as getting things done. Spend a few minutes after work in these transition rituals. Allow your mind to shift to rest mode. It helps you stay engaged in the present, both while working and while enjoying life at home. As we always say, there’s no one-ritual-fits-all. Experiment and discover what works best for your mindspace and lifestyle.