How to Take Your Mind off Work Outside The Office.

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Michael Chimeremma Nwadialor

In order for one to maintain sanity, health and happiness, one needs a balanced work-life. One factor that hinders a balanced work-life is when your thoughts remain soaked in the many work activities done during the day, the ones to be done the next day, unread emails and very close deadlines.

This is a natural phase a lot of professionals pass and have passed through, no doubt. But If you’re expending your personal time pondering about work when you are supposed to be spending time with your family and friends or relaxing your nerves, it is not advantageous to you and those around you.

If you find yourself in the category of workers who “think work, dream work, play work and eat work” this piece is for you and will help you to try to become more present in the moment and not wasteful of time.

Why waste time when we are sure it is not ‘regainable’. It is imperative therefore, you have to find something to distract you, so you can draw the line between home and your office.

The following are strategic ways to pull your mind from thinking about work excessively even outside the office or workplace:

  1. Consider the lifespan of the event.

The moment any happening in your office begins to bother you, put the event on a scale and check if in 4 – 5 years it will still matter. The reason behind this consideration is to let you easily let go of things that aren’t so important and necessary to your career goals in life. Why stress yourself unnecessarily when you know there are better things to be bothered about in your work-life and personal life?


  1. Be conscious of cognitive distortions you may have about work:

When you have thoughts that probably do not reflect the full reality of an event or situation, they are cognitive distortions. Truth is, they are likely to make things look worse than they are in reality and if not properly checked can largely contribute to negative emotions and job dissatisfaction in a twinkle of an eye.

You can help yourself by focusing on compliments rather than negative comments, not generalising single actions, avoid jumping to conclusions etc.


  1. Use your personal time.

Be it exercise, a hubby or a new skill, use your personal time to learn and engage your mind. Take exercise seriously and workout regularly, this is going to keep you fit physically and mentally.

You also need to learn a new skill or language or take up a hobby like cooking, baking, painting or even gaming. Select something that takes you back to when you were much younger, or something you’ve always been passionate about. If you engage yourself with skills, hobbies and play they will help improve the state of your mind and further distract you from distractions.

Note: in order not to quickly get bored why engaging and utilising your personal time, do these activities with your family and friends and make sure you practise them at least twice a week.


  1. Join a group at least.

In other to balance your work life and personal life joining at least a social group will help you socialise with people who are not your coworkers. The goal is to leave work in the office, therefore it will be absurd to join a social group where almost 50 percent of her members are your colleagues.

 So as not to think about work social groups can help increase your network of friends scattered across different fields, backgrounds and beliefs.

If you are looking for groups, let them be the ones that dive into whatever you are passionate about else you will be quickly bored. Ask your friends for different groups they might know, for instance book clubs etc.

It can be frustrating to get your mind in order when you are not in your workplace but you know that there is a pile of work to be done the next day, this I understand. But bothering yourself and hitting your head with a hammer won’t do the work for you.

You can only do them yourself and only if you find yourself in the office the next day. If then you have your kids to play with or your friends to visit, do these ones and live in the moment, tomorrow will take care of itself. Don’t feel upset or frustrated, if you find yourself in such state pinch yourself and enjoy the moment.

To read more articles on work life balance click here.

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