How to Leave The Office Even If You WFH
Today we are answering the question on every entrepreneur’s mind: What’s the best way to leave the office when I work from home? According to a Stanford University study, a whopping 42% of the U.S. workforce began working from home full-time during the pandemic, and half of them have reported that they would rather quit than be required to return to the office full-time in the future.
Now that we’ve made it work, let’s make it better. Let’s get aspirational with it. Let’s take working from home to the next level.
Tip Number One: Collect an Early Win
Okay, so you’ve probably heard somewhere the advice, “Complete the most difficult task first…” as a means to improve productivity at work. I want to take this concept and just shift your work-from-home perspective on it somewhat. More freedom with how we prioritize our daily tasks can make it SUPER tempting to put off the more difficult tasks until last. A more difficult task from your perspective could mean the task that will take the longest, or it could mean the task that is the most tedious, or the task that is the least creative, the task that involves reaching out to other people, or the task that requires you to work solo…so here’s my version of this advice adapted for Entrepreneurs of 2021: Collect an Early Win! And what that means is when you knock out that difficult task on your to-do list first, and you give yourself that early win, it will make every task that follows seem that much easier. As tempting as it can be to jump in on our favorite tasks first thing in the morning, here’s why you’re going to learn to LOVE knocking out those more difficult tasks first: Because when it gets to be around the time you want to start transitioning back into your home life, you’ll be wrapping things up on a high note! You’ll also be more likely to be able to enjoy a consistent schedule, because having a difficult task just waiting on the sidelines for you throughout the day, just hanging there over your head, well, it sucks first of all. And second of all, we are more likely to work later into the evening hours when we save the more difficult tasks for last. In fact many people, in particular parents, will often find themselves taking a “dinner break,” so they can eat with their kids and get them off to bed, only to return to the computer during the hours when they should be winding down and preparing for a good night’s rest. Give it a try! Collect an early win, give yourself a big old pat on the back, and enjoy the rest of your workday with a far greater sense of ease.
Tip Number Two: Calendar For Tomorrow
One of the most elusive challenges most people face with leaving the office behind is when you physically leave your desk for the night, but mentally you can’t stop thinking about everything you need to do tomorrow. This is a widespread issue that people face whether they work from home or not, and it can be amplified even more when your office is just right down the hall. Make it easier for your mind to let go of tomorrow’s workload by creating tomorrow’s to-do list at the end of each day. When you have it all written down and ready for yourself tomorrow, give yourself permission to trust it into the capable hand of your future self. Just trust yourself! You are amazing! You’re going to sit down with your coffee the next morning and knock that list clean out! You’re free to let it go tonight. You got this.
Tip Number Three: Count Your Accomplishments
Once you have tomorrow planned out, a great way to bring some peace of mind to the end of your work from home workday is to review everything you accomplished. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Go through your to-do list and if you keep it in a notebook, then grab a pen and check those things off. Or another very satisfying practice is quickly jotting down a different kind of list. (Not all lists need to be to-do lists!) Make a list that acknowledges the small wins you accumulated throughout the day. When it comes to helping our active minds detach from a busy workday, there are no wins too small to be acknowledged, and listing them will actually stimulate the reward center of your brain, and can release endorphins that are great for getting ready to enjoy the rest of your evening.
Tip Number Four: Create a Commute
I’ve saved my absolute most favorite tips for last, because this is the part where you physically leave your workspace, and transition into your home space. Many of us who didn’t work from home had a commute after work. Whether we know it or not, this commute becomes a sort of ritual because we repeat it every day around the same time, and it clearly defines the transition between work and home, right? So our minds are looking for that ritual, that commute to carry us from one way of life into another. People who work from home don’t get that well-defined transition by simply closing their laptops, and stepping away from their desks, and there is much to be gained by creating our own commute. Here are some ways to create a commute from work to home for yourself when you work from home:
● Walk your dog, or just take a walk yourself! Getting outside for some fresh air and light exercise is a great way to mark the end of a workday. If you can get a little sunlight, vitamin D is also great for boosting your mood.
● Go to the gym or do a workout routine. Some people find that enjoying some moderate physical activity really helps them release the tensions of the day, and prepares their body for a restful night’s sleep.
● Try a guided meditation! Youtube is full of guided meditations with different focuses and many of them can be completed in just five minutes. Meditation can be a superpower for hitting reset on a high-functioning entrepreneurial mind.
● Make a nice dinner. I’ve had many clients tell me that nothing makes the day melt away faster than when they are chopping fresh vegetables and simmering sauces. Halfway into a new recipe, you’ll be in a whole different zone. With the added bonus of a home-cooked meal to share and enjoy!
Start off by choosing one, and implementing it for a week. And be sure to let me know in the comments below, which one you’re going to choose first! Once you get comfortable with one, add the next one, and feel free to play with it — see what works best for you.
As always the way to becoming an Inspiration to Millions starts with our motto: Love What You Do and Love How You Do It.