Work and personal time often get mixed up.
Perhaps not because we intend it to but because we have gotten used to the idea and habit of mixing the two and forgetting that there should be a fine line between them.
Ideally, work is done at the office (except home-based jobs and out of the office meetings) and other times should be focused on personal matters.
Realistically, however, what happens is that we take work home and we sometimes deal with personal matters at work. We have seen this first hand. It is understandable of course. We are only human after all, but the thing is, when at work, professionalism is expected of us at all times.
Here’s how you can handle your “me” time or downtime effectively so you can focus on work while there. It’s a win-win situation, would you not agree?
- Give yourself time to transition from work to home (or to somewhere else).
I used to work for a company that eats all my time. I would come in super early and get home super late and the kicker, I would not even be done with work yet. 14-16 hours a day did not cut it. It came to a point where my weekends would also be devoted to work. No wonder I would always be dead tired by the end of the day and began dreading Mondays. Because it was taking a toll on me, I made a decision to leave work on the dot and walk home or grab coffee or something. Then I never opened my laptop until the next day at the office, nor checked my emails or anything work related.
- Learn to switch off.
This takes a lot of discipline, most especially when you have gotten used to being hooked online. You can start by determining if you need to be online or not. If you only want to go on Facebook or Instagram, for example, it’s not considered important, is it? To avoid any temptation, you might as well switch off your phone, your computer or television. What you can do is go outside, enjoy the sun, the moon or the stars. Or simply enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. You cannot do this when your head is down, and you are staring at your screen. You can also read a good book for a change.
- Create a healthy habit.
Make it a routine. You can choose to go to a spa every few days or so, hit the gym, take a morning walk or whatever you think works. Others opt to get off a few blocks from home or a couple of stations from work and take a walk . Walking is a good way to think, relax and unwind. Find out what suits you and start from there.
It may be difficult to begin but the moment you do, you can start the process of respecting your personal time as well as staying professional at work until it becomes a part of your system.