Whether you’re someone who finds their true purpose and reason in their work, or if you’re going to work every day because you simply have to bring home the paycheck, we all do spend some time at work. And work can get stressful, especially when you lose sight of the fact that you are only human, no matter what your boss or your team think you are. So if you are feeling drained and like you’ve got no life left in you when you clock out, you need some help, and here it is:
Separate work from home
We tend to get so engulfed in our work that it becomes an integral part of who we are. This isn’t necessarily bad, especially if your work is something you love, but taking your work home with you can result in a bad work-life balance and a schedule that doesn’t leave you time for your private life. If you can, leave your work computer and phone in the office – there is never a work emergency so urgent that it has to pull you away from a family dinner or wake you from your sleep. However, oftentimes we have our personal phones connected to our work accounts, and it can also drag us back to work at any time of day or night. Set an automated response after work hours, and do not check your emails until you get into the office the next day. If you find yourself thinking about and stressing over work while you’re at home, even if you don’t have any triggers around you, then you’re probably not organizing your work day well enough, and you’re leaving things unfinished. Make sure you are dividing all of your tasks into smaller groups, and checking them off as you go, so you never feel like you left something uncompleted when you’re done.
Keep your energy high
A lot of us get through our work days with just a cup of coffee and a lot of willpower, but that isn’t enough from any standpoint. You can order organic food online and keep small stashes of healthy snacks at your desk for when you’re feeling like you need a pick-me-up. But if you’re at work for 8 hours, you also shouldn’t skip your meals – pack lunch at home and bring it to work every day, eating it when you get hungry. Skipping meals will only lead to poor focus, drowsiness and low energy, which definitely isn’t something you want while you’re at work. These meals should be light, but packed with energy: think high protein and refreshing, like a pasta salad, a sandwich or a plate of grilled veggies. You also need to stay hydrated, and do opt for water instead of coffee whenever you can. Like we said, snacks are a welcome energy boost, but make sure you aren’t snacking the entire time throughout the day, because that can lead to kinks in your eating cycle.
Take time to relax
Most of the top managers of the world have what they call a “manager’s hour”. It’s a period of time when they do absolutely nothing – or at least nothing scheduled. It’s when the best ideas come to them and they can find a solution to most problems. Most people can’t take that much time out of their work day to do nothing, but you can take shorter breaks to clear your head and relax. Remember that you can’t really relax until you change your setting, so the best thing you can do is go for a quick walk. Even if it’s just around the building, or down to a different floor, stepping away from work and giving yourself some headspace will do you good. If you can find a quiet corner, you can do some meditation, or even take a little nap – after setting the alarm, of course. This will help refresh and recharge you, making you ready to get on with the day.
If you’ve spent a lot of time at the same workplace, you might just be mindlessly following a daily routine that actually isn’t doing you any good. Be conscious of your own well-being, listen to yourself when you need a break or a boost, and put yourself ahead of your work, or you won’t be there much longer to do it.