When you’re working from home, it can be hard to disconnect. Set up “circuit breakers” at the end of the day to make sure that work stops and relaxation begins.
You’ve been sitting at your home office desk all day, pounding away at the keyboard, racking your brains on analysis, putting up with office politics bullshit, cranking out emails, etc.

Your eyeballs feel like they’re about to fall out of your skull from all the digital eye strain. Plus, you’ve got a serious case of dead butt syndrome too.

It’s already well past 5 o’clock and yet, you’re still grinding away at work and putting out fires. There’s so much on your plate that if you don’t put in a little more time every day, you’ll fall back a lot more. And, that’ll cause even more stress.

So, you grit your teeth and just deal with it.

Working past 5pm has become the norm and not the exception. You’ve even probably put in some time on the weekends too.

Do you get paid more for all this extra effort?

Fuck no.

You’d be lucky and happy just to get a simple thank you email every once in a while.

What you may not realize is that while you may be making incremental progress on all of those “urgent” tasks for the day by working late, it’s coming at the compromise of your long-term health.

You need to be able to step away from work and unplug from the matrix so that you can rest, recover and recharge.

Overworking Is Bullshit & Doesn’t Work

The whole idea of working 70, 80 or even 90 hour weeks seems like it would mean that you’d get more done, right?

Put in more time, get more shit done and get ahead?

Not quite.
More time put in doesn’t result in equal amounts of output on the other end. The equation isn’t a one for one deal.

The reality is that your productivity and output is strong and good up to a certain point. Then, after that point, your output and quality of work starts to go downhill fast.

There are a lot of academic studies, including this Stanford University study, that all point to the fact that after a certain number of hours of work, you’re no longer effective.

Most of the studies indicate that productivity per hour starts to fall off when a person works more than 50 hours a week or about 10 hours a day during the typical five day work week.

After 55 hours, productivity falls off a cliff - so much that it’s fucking pointless to keep working. You’ve probably experienced this before where your brain is so fried from a long day that you can’t even do simple math.

Then, there are the mental, physiological and social effects of overwork.

Working crazy-ass long hours is linked to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and a host of other mental health issues. This is all on top of the negative effects of making you less sociable, distant, irritable, frustrated and generally less fun to be around.

The bottom line is that working more doesn’t mean that you’ll be more productive or successful. What it will definitely lead to are more health issues. So, it’s important that you find a good balance and be disciplined with ending work on time every day.

8 Great Circuit Breakers To Disconnect From Work

When you’re working remotely from home, you don’t have the stressful commute, which is a glorious thing, of course. However, what you may not realize is that the commute, as shitty as it is, also serves another purpose.

The traditional commute is your end of the day circuit breaker.

When you’re done working at the office, you have a physical and mental transition that helps you to disconnect from work and leave all bullshit behind. The commute home is the transitional phase that allows you to switch over from “work you” to “personal you” at the end of the day.

The issue is that when you’re working from home, you don’t have this transitional phase anymore. You’re physically and mentally still attached to work because it’s still right there in front of your face after 5pm. There’s no escaping it.

The solution here is simple.

You need to re-create that same physical and mental transition by getting off the computer and doing something totally different, something more analog and ideally, outside of the house or at minimum, away from your desk.

1) Have Sex With Your Partner (Or Yourself)

There’s nothing better than ending the day with some sexercise with your partner. Making out and bumping uglies not only burns calories, but also is proven to relieve stress.

In fact, this is why having nooner sex breaks are fucking awesome (pardon the pun). It’s a perfect prelude to a yummy lunch break.

But, if it’s a busy day, then save the sex as your end-of-day reward for all the effort you put in.

If you’re single, there’s always some self-love too. Just don’t watch porn during the day. Save it for later as your evening indulgence.

2) Do A Fake Commute Joy Ride

If the traditional commute home after work really works well for you to disconnect from work, then by all means, do a fake commute.

As your day is coming to an end, put away all the paperwork, file-save all your work, send out those last few emails, close-out all of your programs, logoff and shut down.

Then, get up from your desk, take a deep breath, grab your car keys and walk out to the car. You don’t even need to change out of your WFH loungewear - just go with it.

Go for a 30-minute scenic drive. Turn on some tunes. Roll down the windows if the weather’s nice. Just enjoy the drive by yourself and let the bullshit from the day melt away.

3) Order And Get Takeout Dinner 

Hey, if you’re out driving on your fake commute, pre-order some takeout dinner and go pick it up on your way back home. This way, you’re taking care of two things at once - going for a relaxing drive and getting some grub.

Hit up your usual fav hotspots and call ahead or use an app to order up your go-to entrees. You know the best dishes.

Try not to get all hangry on your way home with all the aromas wafting inside your car.

4) Get An Errand Out Of The Way 

If you’re still in a productive vibe from work, then carry it over to your personal life and get one or more annoying errands out of the way during the week.

These are things like picking up the dry cleaning, going to Costco (less crowded), getting the car washed, doing a bit of food shopping, taking care of minor yard work, etc.

The point here is that if you can knock out annoying errands during the week, it can make your weekends feel longer because you’re not having to burn those precious weekend hours doing them.

5) Go For A Walk Around The Neighborhood Or Park

If the thought of going for a drive or running errands isn’t appealing to you, then simply head out and go for a walk around the neighborhood or to the local park.

It feels good to just get outta the house and breathe in some fresh air. There are some incredible benefits to walking in nature, even if it’s in an urban jungle.

While you’re walking, let the work worries fade away and take in the joys of what you’re seeing, hearing and feeling during the walk. This is all about “being in the moment” and recognizing simple beautiful moments.

It’s the colors of the evening dusk, the breeze, the neighborhood dogs barking, kids playing in the yards or the park, the puffy clouds drifting by, the sounds of your footsteps, etc. Maybe, even do a one-minute meditation while you walk.

6) Play With Your Kids And/Or Pets Outside

When you’re holed up and barricaded in your home office, your kids and pets don’t get to spend much quality time with you. And justifiably so because you need to get shit done and sometimes, the kids or Fido just won’t STFU.

However, at the end of the day, work obligations should be thrown out the window. This is the perfect opportunity to hang out and have fun with them.

This is when you can take the kids and/or Fido outside and just play.

Do you remember how much fun it was to just play outside as a kid?

Re-live those moments now and you’ll quickly forget about work.

7) Calm Down With An Evening Meditation

Meditation is undeniably one of the best ways to manage work stress. The sad thing is that despite it getting a lot of attention lately, a lot of people still don’t meditate.

If you haven’t tried meditation or maybe you have but struggled with it, then try our newbie’s guide to meditation to get yourself started. The key is to start small but be consistent.

After shutting down the computer, head to another part of your house, away from your desk and dedicate 5, 10 or 15 minutes for meditation as your transitional phase to settle your mind for the rest of the evening.

8) Break A Sweat With A Short Workout

Exercise is a proven way to not only relieve stress, but it’s also a great way to get your work frustrations out in a beneficial way.

When you’re working out, you can release all of those pent up negative emotions from work. Whether it’s the rude-ass emails or having to virtually deal with the asshole at work, you can take all of that pent up energy and let it loose through exercise.

Burning that energy off not only cleanses you mentally, but it also improves you physically in terms of cardio and muscular health.

Now, it doesn’t have to be some crazy workout. You can do WFH micro-exercises and other low-sweat options too. It’s all about getting your body moving.

Switch From Work Mode To Relax Mode Every Day

You may not be able to shut-down and call it quits exactly at 5pm every day - that’s probably unrealistic. And frankly, most people can’t.

However, when work starts to spill over into your personal evening time, that’s when you need to be disciplined and shut things down before it gets out of hand and you’re doing emails past midnight.

With a daily circuit breaker, you can switch off work mode and say, “I’m fucking done for today” and confidently logoff knowing that you’ve given it your best effort.

Now, you can downshift, slow down and give yourself some well-deserved relaxation and me-time for the rest of the evening.

You deserve it. 😉

Feel Better,

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