How To Switch Off From Work
I was speaking with a virtual assistant today who asked how do people manage to ‘switch off’ from work when they work for themselves.
It can be really difficult to switch between work life and personal life, especially when you are first starting out. I remember being stuck to my phone at the beginning of my journey ‘just in case I see someone who needs VA support’ – It drove my husband crazy!
Establishing a good work-life blend is essential when you are working as a virtual assistant. This is especially true if you have chosen this business to be able to work around your family. I call it a blend as I feel it is more than a work-life balance. My children understand that I may be working from my phone while we are at the park at times. They appreciate that I don’t really have any set working hours like their Dad. They also understand that because of that we are able to have lots of fun days out during the holidays and I am available during term time if they need me for a trip or to simply cuddle with them on the sofa if they are unwell.
Back to the lady I was speaking with. She had already created a good work-life blend around her partner working away a lot and having a small human to keep alive, but sometimes with that blend there is no ‘off’ button as you are always ‘blending’!
My 5 Steps On How To Switch Off From Work
Set yourself a time that you are going to finish that day
Giving yourself a set time to stop working each day is essential, or you will just continue working until you fall asleep. So set yourself a time AND STICK TO IT! It doesn’t have to be the same time each day but you do need to give yourself a deadline.
Write yourself a to-do list
Fifteen minutes before your finish time stop work and write yourself a to-do list for the following work day. This could be tasks that have been carried over (because you have stopped working on them due to your finish time), continuing project work or new tasks. It doesn’t matter but you need to write the list and get them all out of your head before your clocking off time.
Turn off your computer and put it away
Turn off your computer or laptop and PUT IT AWAY. If this means simply shutting the door to your office, do that. If it means putting your laptop in a cupboard or away in a laptop bag, do that. It needs to be away so you cannot see it. Your to-do list for the next working day needs to be put away with the computer/laptop too. No sneaking at your list to see if you can add to it or even complete a little task – I see you!
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb
Turn the do not disturb function on your phone (don’t forget to set your favourite contacts and sort your settings so that important people can still contact you) for at least ONE HOUR. Then put your phone away from you in another room. You don’t want to be tempted to look!
Enjoy your commute home from work!
Once your phone is on do not disturb consciously do ‘home’ stuff – walk the dog, sit in the garden… walk around the block whatever you need to do to decompress from the ‘work day’.
Think about what you would do when you were employed. The journey from work to home would be the decompress time and then you could get on with your day/night.
You still need this ‘decompress time’ if you are wanting to fully switch off from work and be present in your personal life.
So there you have it, my 5 steps to switch off from your working day. If you have found this useful and would like more support with your VA journey then maybe we should chat?