6 Quick Strategies To Shift Out Of Work Mode

Whether things are going really well or are really challenging…. whether we are working on a project that is meaningful and energizes us or on a task that sucks the life out of us….whether we are working on our business or in our business, it’s easy to become obsessive with our work.

In all these situations it can be difficult to “flip the switch” and shift our thoughts from work to being fully present for the other parts of our life.  Transitioning successfully requires deliberate attention – and action.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, these six practical strategies are definitely worth ‘trying on’ for size.

1. If you work from home, close the door to your office at the end of what you’ve designated for your work day. You may even consider putting up one of those “Closed. Be back at xyz time" signs. Sounds silly but our brain does respond to visuals.

2. Create a ritual, something that marks the end of your work day. Drink a cup of tea. Go for a run. Crank up your favorite song and dance. Through repetition you will essentially retrain your brain to associate this activity with shifting from your work role to something else.

3. Do a brain dump! Literally dump everything that is cluttering your mind out onto a piece of paper... yes paper, not an electronic device. The act of putting pen to paper engages different parts of your brain. When you do this you’ll find that no matter how long the list, it feels much more manageable than it does when it’s all cluttered in your mind; it’s a release. (Plus, as a bonus, you can use this list to prioritize your tasks for the next day.)

4. Keep a notepad or journal handy so if an important thought comes to mind you can jot it down and not obsess over the potential of forgetting it. This will allow you to quickly shift your focus back to your current activity.

5. Unplug. Put your devices away. Remove the temptation of continually checking social medial and email.

6. Be still and breathe. Take 5 – 10 minutes to sit quietly… even if that means you need to go to your car -- or lock yourself in the bathroom -- to do it.  Take a series of deep, cleansing breaths. Feel the release of the tensions of the day as you exhale.

Small shifts can make a tremendous difference. Which strategy will you try today?