Leaving work at workSubscribe
Since this is our group for finding some balance between work and family, why don't we all share our best tips for how to actually leave work at work - I recently wrote a blog post about this and it's really something I'd like to get better at.
An aquaintance of mine once recommended "jamming to loud tunes" on the car stereo on the commute home from the office as a great way to transition from one area of life to the next. Unfortunately, this suggestion did little to comfortably ease me from work to home. What HAS worked for me is making a conscious decision to NOT TALK ABOUT WORK after I leave the office. I leave the politics and interpersonal dramas there. (That, and I told my boss that I won't be checking my work e-mail unless we're on a tight deadline or dealing with an emergency situation. He now knows not to expect 11 p.m. replies to his queries.)
I have a decent walk leaving my building which gives me some time along with my ipod (also a handy excuse to ignore pan handlers and pervies) which helps make the walk pleasant. BUT, the best part of heading home is picking up my son from the daycare. The teachers are always happy to chat for a bit and get some adult conversation (me, too), and my son thrives there. I have little notes from the instructors about what their classes did, which gives us something to talk about on the drive home.
I also do a grocery store wander. That relaxes me. We wander up and down every aisle, trying to think of something different and easy to have, and we talk about things we see, etc. I have never rushed a shopping trip with him, so he's used to it and just rolls with it.
But, I will admit that I do sometimes save up a little rant to share with DH once the little one is in his bath. But, once I get it out, I'm over it. (I did have to explain to my husband, I'm just ranting, I don't want advice. now it's perfect)
Oh, and our gym advertised 15 minute chair massages for $15, but, when I went to make an appointment for one after a stressful day... they said there wasn't enough demand, so they only kept it for a month. sheesh.
I hate talking about work, I tell the little stories I have to get off of my chest, or the funny ones, but after that there is no work talk. I go home to be home, it is a great thing. the thing I think for me is to make sure you are thinking all the think in your car on your way home. Then when you get home, you should be all thinked out. It works for me.
I bring work home a lot because, well, it's the nature of teaching. Papers to correct, new research journals to read, and more, are part of my job. I have yet to find the perfect home/work balance. But I do make sure I have a book -- a book to read for pleasure -- on my nightstand. At some point each evening, I pack my schoolbag and say, "Enough!" and switch to relax and "me" mode. School Email? I sometimes check it when I get home, but not after supper. It's too likely to raise my pulse rate and blood pressure and disturb my sleep.
My husband and I have a rough time with this because we both work at the same company. My father works here too! That means that work ALWAYS comes up. I try to really keep it at a minimum, but there's at least some talk about work at home EVERY night. Sometimes I wish I could go back to retail just so that I could forget about my stupid job when I left at night. My job now is too good to give up, though. I guess I just have to live with it!
This is a huge problem for me because I work at home, and often from my bed, so if I'm working late, the bed is covered in papers and cords and various half-eaten snacks ... and my dear husband has to clear these aside to get in bed. So it's not so much a conversation intrusion as a physical intrusion. I do actually have an office, but it has morphed into a closet ... one of my goals over the next month is to clear it out and start using it again.
Back when I used to work full-time in an office it was very hard not to bring work home, once cell phones became normal. Sometimes my husband and I would be eating dinner out and we'd realize we were talking about work, so we'd stop .. and start planning our next vacation, which is one of our favorite things to do.