Working from home has plenty of benefits for employees, such as more flexible work hours and cost savings. However, it also blurs the boundaries between their work and personal lives, increasing the risk of remote work burnout.
To combat burnout, you must establish a clear start and end time to your workday. And when the workday ends, it’s equally essential to have a post-work ritual to help you transition from work time to your personal time.
What is a post-work ritual?
Also known as a shutdown routine, a post-work ritual is a sequence of small tasks that you perform at the end of your workday. It helps you mentally disconnect from your job so you can fully enjoy the personal time you're entitled to.
What are some post-work rituals remote workers can do?
Here are some simple things you can do after work:
1. Only finish what you need to do
When working from home, it can be enticing to finish one more task before disconnecting for the day. However, that task can bleed into another, and before you know it, you’ve done more work than you intended.
Avoid this by finishing only the tasks that you need to do on a given day. Then, list down your outstanding tasks so you don’t forget them.
After work, shut down your laptop and put away your work documents. Mute work notifications on your phone and log off from any business applications so you can resist the temptation to reply to messages.
3. Set an identity and intention
We play different roles in our work and personal lives. So after a work day, determine the identity you will assume. Do you become a super parent? A supportive significant other? An exercise buff?
As soon as you’re done with work, say these two sentences to yourself: “With the workday done, I’m free to be the best (role) that I can be. I also want to make sure that (a result you’re aiming for or what you want to accomplish).”
Setting your intentions allows you to focus on who you are in the moment, and gives you purpose as well as the motivation to achieve that purpose.
4. Exercise for a few minutes
A recent work survey shows that 48% of US workers feel mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the workday. This may then lead to skipping post-work exercise and just calling it a day. However, what many people don’t know is that even 10 minutes of light physical activity after work can relieve stress, reduce fatigue, and improve sleep quality.
As soon as you’re done with work, walk around the block or take a short trip to the park. You can even listen to your favorite music or podcast while exercising to improve your mood and increase your stamina.
Meditation is a good way to reduce work stress, focus on the present, and relax your mind.
One form of meditation you can try is mindful breathing, which involves becoming aware of your breathing and focusing on it for a few minutes. Doing so can lower your heart rate and calm your nerves.
You can also check out free podcasts, apps, and websites that offer guided meditations.
6. Cook a healthy meal
Working from home gives you the opportunity to cook fresh and healthy meals, and avoid takeaway foods that are typically loaded with preservatives and calories. This not only makes you healthier, but it also saves you money.
As you start preparing your ingredients or smell the dish you’re cooking, your mind may slowly veer away from the stress of the workday, indicating that it’s time to focus on your personal life and stop worrying about work.
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