Health

5 Techniques To Leave Stress At Work

By 18/01/2016 June 23rd, 2022 2 Comments
Leave Stress At Work

It can be hard holding down a busy job and then leaving the problems, challenges and stress at work – i.e. not bringing them home with you.

It’s easy for your home life to become affected by work, even more so since the big lockdown and many more people are now working from home.

In my own personal experience it’s been my family that have suffered the most when I’ve brought work home. I’ve taken home the stress and drama of the day and I’ve failed to deal with it where it belongs; at work.

This results in me being short tempered and not present. And generally not the husband and father I want to be. This hurts.

Over the years I’ve found a variety of tactics that seem to help.

Here are 5 techniques to leave stress at work – these have worked for me, they may also work for you.

1. Leave your worries outside

When you get home find somewhere to leave your work worries outside of your house. If you work in the house try to have a routine and a place to leave work.

This sounds weird but find somewhere you can metaphorically leave your worries before you go through your front door.

For me this is the dashboard of my car. I’ve heard of people using a branch of a tree, others using plant pots. Whatever you choose, when you get to that space sinply have a ritual to place your hand there and say “done – see you tomorrow”. Cal Newport talks about a verbal routine when he closes his laptop – saying things like “close down” or “finished for the day”

2. 5, 5

I learned this technique from listening to Michael Hyatt’s podcast.

When you get in the house after work, spend 5 minutes sat less than 5 ft from your respective partner / children and actively listen to them.

This is a great technique that’s helped me leave a tough day at work and spend time with my wife and kids.

It’s a way of saying to the other person that you’re listening and it’s a way of connecting with them after several hours apart.

3. Go through tomorrow’s tasks

Before you leave work it’s a good idea to go through tomorrow’s work, tasks and calendar.

This way you’re preparing for tomorrow and can leave knowing you’ve done a day’s work. Remember, there are always more problems and work to do than we have time for.

4. Check emails just twice a day, and not just before you leave work

I only check my emails twice a day (unless an issue is on-going). I check first thing in the morning and then mid-afternoon. By checking mid-afternoon I’m ensuring I leave some of my working day to deal with anything that needs my attention.

It can be quite stressful to deal with issue that come into your inbox before you leave. Turn off toasts, anything else can wait. If it’s urgent, surely someone will phone you.

5. Journaling

Journaling is super powerful.

I journal about the day, my thoughts, my ideas and any actions that are floating around in my head. It seems to be an effective way of dealing with work pressures and family life.

Conclusion

What works for me though, may not work for you, but what’s become abundantly clear is I needed a way of leaving work at work. These may help you too.

Rob

Rob

2 Comments

  • Jan Jaap Cannegieter says:

    Hi Rob,

    Important topic and I recognize completely what you say. I use two different techniques to focus on my family when I’m home. First I have a picture on the inside of the sun-protector in my car (the flip-thing close to your head when you sit in the car). About 10 minutes before I’m home I flip the sun-protector down and see the picture. And while I drive I ask myself what questions I could ask to my wife and daughters when I’m home. Suppose my daughter complained at breakfast that she is having sport outside on school and it rained during the day. I can ask whether she got wet. This ‘preparation’ for coming home pushes my thinking about my work away and helps me focus on my family.
    Secondly I write everything that comes to my mind about work when I’m down in my smartphone. To make sure I don’t have to remember it. When I come to the office I check these notes. My wife and daughters know by now that making a note only takes 10 to 20 seconds and they can wait for that.
    This works for me. Thanks for the tips, I will try the 5,5, that sounds good to me.

    Kind regards,
    Jan Jaap Cannegieter

    • RobLambert says:

      Hi Jan,

      Thank you so much for the comment and I absolutely love that technique with the visor and picture. I’ll try that too. It’s great to hear how others are able to switch off from work.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and glad you liked the post.

      Rob