In most cases, the mindset that helps make you effective at your job is different from the mindset that is best for your family life. Arriving home from work, still in the mindset of work, can lead to stressful collisions between work and family. The suggestions below can help you improve your transition from work to home life and help you draw the line between work and family.
Transition tips - Before you leave work:
- Devote the final minutes of your workday to your easier and less-pressured tasks. Return selected phone calls, clean up loose ends, organize tomorrow's schedule.
- Empty your mind of unfinished business by putting pen to paper. Otherwise, if you tell yourself something like, "I won't forget - I'll just keep it in mind for tomorrow," chances are your mind will do just that - and keep you distracted once you are home. Be realistic about the work you take home. Ask yourself, "What's the best use of my time tonight-for myself and my family? Can this work be postponed or delegated? Can I realistically complete it or will I be distracted and frustrated because I can't finish it all?"
Cooling off at home:
- Prearrange with family members to allow a "rejuvenation time" for yourself upon arriving home. Use this brief interlude to organize your thoughts, look through the mail, exercise, go for a walk, change your clothes, take a shower or hot bath, or partake in a relaxing tea time ritual.
- Delay talking about your day upon arriving home. "How was your day?" is a lot like the question "How are you?" Your initial response should be succinct. Unloading about the days problems when you arrive home can easily trigger fatigue-driven arguments or drag on far into the evening.
- If you need to discuss your work experiences or problems with your partner, agree upon a prearranged time to sit down and discuss the day's events. Decide with your partner how much time you want to devote to discussing work issues versus other types of togetherness, such as shared relaxation time or other interests.