Since we’ve all been working at home sometimes our work lives and our home lives have merged into one. There’s no boundary. There’s no commute to make to define the line between when you’re at work and when you’re at home. This then creates the tendency to feel that you’re always at work. Your work computer sitting there looking at you saying there might be an email, there might be something interesting to look at, something for you to read.

The trick is to make your own boundaries. Set your own start and finish times for work.

Whether this is nine in the morning or seven, depending on what your schedule looks like and whether it’s convenient for you to be working. But have a start up and shut down ritual. Certain things you do when you start work and when you finish for the day. 

Maybe you just get yourself a cup of coffee before you start work in your favourite mug or a mug that you just use when you are working. And you sit down at your desk. One thing that I use is to dress a certain way when I am at work. Now that doesn’t mean putting on my work suit. It just means not sitting there in my jogging bottoms or my pyjamas as many people seem to have done during the pandemic. They fall out of bed, turn their computer on and within a couple of minutes they are at work.

For me I’ve defined the lines between work and home life so when I finish work and I get up from my desk I got and get changed. I may later sit down at my desk and do work on my personal computer but that’s not the same because I’m wearing different clothes and my mind is no longer in work mode.

Having some shutting down ritual tells your brain that it’s time to finish work. You can do through checking that you’ve done everything that your proposed to do for the day or if you haven’t when you’re going to make time to catch up. Therefore your brain doesn’t worry that you might have missed something when you switch off your computer.