3 Tips To Stop Work From Following You Home

Summary – 3 tips on how to keep work at your workplace

One of the biggest problem for working people is that they always bring back work home. I used to think that this is nonsense. Who would want to bring work back home? But when I started working, the habit comes naturally and without even realizing it, I’m already doing it.

The worst case scenario would be when you bring back your problem from your workplace. The problem is in your head, and it will haunt you the rest of your day at home. If you bring back only paperwork, you will be able to finish it and you’re done. But if you bring back your problem which is in your head, it will always be there. And this will have more negative effect on your life.

  • You will have no mood to have fun.
  • You may accidentally channel your anger and frustration to your family.
  • You will suffer stress and your work is becoming more of a burden to you.
  • In short.. nothing good can come with bringing work back home.

How to leave work at work

If you are suffering from the above symptoms, and you know it is because you are bringing work back home, you may want to try these tips :

1) Create parting ritual
Create a parting ritual everytime you finish your work at your office. I personally clear up everything on my table and put it in one tray. I imagine that that is my black hole tray, where no work will be able to break free until 8am tomorrow morning.

You can create your own ritual like consciously locking the door of your office and saying goodbye to your work. This may sound silly but it has a great impact on your subconcious mind. You are making a closure.

2) Put up the sign – Do Not Disturb
Even when we successfully leave the work at work, the work sometimes manage to find you. Your colleague may call you during your off day to help him with something. What you should do, is to formally inform everyone that you are not to be disturbed unless it is a matter of life and death. A bit harsh, I know, but works like a charm.

I however am working as a maintenance engineer. And I almost always will be called to work if there’s any major breakdown. In my case, I can’t really turn down any call for help even when it is 3 in the morning.

If you are in other line of work, you should put up the sign. It’ll help.

3) Remind yourself in black and white
Take a piece of paper, and write these sentence on it. Whenever you are returning from work, read them out loud.

  • My family is the most important thing to me.
  • The time with my family is precious. I don’t want to miss a single thing.
  • My family deserve the best from me, the best attention, the best conversation, the best treatment.

After a week or two reading them, you will memorize the sentence and it will be permanently written in your subconcious mind.

I’m sure there are many other methods we can do to keep work from following us home, but these three are the best way to do it. Try it.. You’ll see.

– I wonder –
How do you leave work at work?

——– Personal Note ———-
In two more days Muslims around the world will celebrate Aidilfitri (It is pronounced Eye – Deal – Fit – Ree). Just a brief explanation of the day, it is to celebrate the victory of successfully completing the one month of fasting. It is a joyous holiday here in Malaysia, where everyone will take this opportunity to be with family.

I will be returning home to Kedah (about 500km journey) on Tuesday. I’m going to take this opportunity to wish all of my muslims friends reading enjoy your Aidilfitri. Do not celebrate your Aidilfitri with work on your mind kay :)

“Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin”

Photo Credit – JCardinal18

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This post has 8 comments.


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  1. 28 Sep 08 3:54 pm

    banji!
    this post reminds me of the old plumber story.
    where he always writes his pending customer list
    in a piece of paper and slip it in a cherry tree before
    entering his house.
    Tomorrow, when he’s going out to work,
    he would take the list and ..well go to work.
    but thats plumber. a carrier where u have to work
    with people pipes to get paid.

    What about writer? who needs to write to pay the food
    on the table.
    Engineer with loads of paper work to do? … and the computer in the house happen to be well equipped with excell heheheh

    Allow me to write a post about this in the future yah :)

  2. Gale P
    28 Sep 08 6:30 pm

    I’m a full time student again, but just a few months ago I ended my work in the field of foster care for an agency. The work is so demanding, paper intensive and deals with needy children and the unsurety of foster parents and whether a home was working out or not, well let’s just say there is a high turn over for foster care staff. I stuck it out, but because of the “nature” of the work there is sometimes ‘unspoken stress” and preoccupation. The only way not to leave it at work is to be VERY organized (which I am not) or become very REMOVED mentally from the situation. My family definintly suffered from this. Since you are dealing with people’s lives both on the job AND at home, that is difficult. I worked for a private agency but would see State Workers stressed out and unhealthy. THis is sad to say but work like that you have to either realize it will be short term or only do what you can each day knowing so much is left behind. So, I am saying that I need to think very carefully about the work I do in the future and definitely get organized with the paperwork AND the mental work. We have a saying “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen!” If you are very organized it won’t feel so hot, but if you aren’t it will feel like hell’s kitchen..literally. That’s how important it can be to find the balance and leave the work at the office.

  3. Gale P
    28 Sep 08 6:32 pm

    Oh and have a blessed holiday with family and friends during aididlfitri!

  4. banji
    28 Sep 08 9:04 pm

    Pocket – I’ve actually never heard of the story. Thanks for the mention. It is a great story to illustrate how physical action can help in reducing the load on our mind. It’s not easy but it’ll help.

    The problem comes in when you are actually working from home. There will be a very very thin line separating between the two worlds. And it will be up to you to draw the line.

    Feel free to write about it bro. I’ve always enjoyed your point of view

    Gale P – I remember you telling me about your work at the foster care. I believe you said that you specialize in special education am I right?

    The unspoken stress you highlighted is actually what this article is meant to address. It’s the feeling that you are very tired, and everything you do seems to be even more tiring. This doesn’t make any sense since there’s no way we can be more tired after a good laugh at home. The unspoken stress really is the work we brought home.

    Achieving the high level of organization just to leave work at work is usually very ideal. I would suggest that you try to be slightly better at organizing and be content with that for the day. The satisfaction that comes from getting slightly better can help in reducing our load. Because we can see that there’s really a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Even though you are not a full time student and most probably will never be involved in such environment, this strategy will help in other line of work you will be doing.

    Thank you for the warm wishes.. Zafirah is so excited (I think)

  5. 29 Sep 08 1:15 pm

    balik Guar Cempedk yer…

    hav a safe journy..

  6. 29 Sep 08 7:49 pm

    It was really good but how can it possible creating bad environment in the home, if we bring the work to home. And it was A bad opinion so try to avoid that.

  7. banji
    30 Sep 08 1:20 am

    Ku Ina – yup balik Guar Chempedak. kalau lalu singgah la, kitorg buat laksa johor tahun ni

    Doug Keipper – I’m sorry, I can’t really understand your point here. Must be the holiday mood.. :) Care to elaborate?

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