Do you constantly find yourself clocking out of work physically, but never really “leaving the office” mentally? Are your nights eaten up by answering calls, checking emails or simply stressing over work-related issues? If so, you’re not alone. If your job requires you to be on-call after hours, that is one thing, but many people do not have that requirement and still rarely unplug from work. The ability to separate yourself from your work and set aside time for friends, family and relaxation to recharge for the next workday is a key component of work-life balance. Not doing so could put you on a fast track toward a major burnout. Follow our tips below!

Use the commute to wind down.

That traffic jam might not be a ton of fun, but you can actually put it to practical use. Make the most of your commute to turn off your work brain and de-stress before you get home. Too often, we leave work and bring all of our office problems straight into our house, to our dinner tables, etc. It’s no wonder we head back the next day never feeling like we left!  Listen to your favorite jams, a book on tape or just bask in some silence (tune out any beeping horns) and try to get out of the work mindset.

Only power up if you have something that needs completion overnight.

Ah, technology. Its advancements have made it possible for us to do almost every aspect of our job from our couch, but resist the temptation to power up your computer unless there is something you legitimately need to complete before work the next morning. Just logging in so you get “check something out” can quickly spiral into an entire evening where you are caught up in work that can wait; you need your time to de-stress!

Unglue yourself from your phone.

It’s easier said than done, we know. We always feel the need to have our phones on us in case someone really needs something, but texting about work all night or constantly scrolling through your emails mean you never really unplug from the office. Can’t stand the thought of actually turning off your phone at night? Put it in the next room, or at least out of arm’s reach when you are trying to relax so you resist the temptation.

Ramp yourself up for a post-work activity.

Some people live for the weekends or for 5:00, thinking from the start of morning on about nothing except for when you get to leave work. We are not saying to do that, but to making a post-work plan and giving yourself something to look forward to not office-related will help you get out of the work mindset quicker after you clock out.

You might not be able to take the Blackberry out of the palm of the workaholic, but you can try to take small steps to put work out of your mind and enjoy your loved ones and some R&R after a long day. Your enthusiasm and morale will thank you for it!

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