Life at Work

We know that workplace stress can result in debilitating physical and physiological symptoms such as depression, fatigue and chronic headaches. We also know that work-related stress can lead to increased absenteeism, a decrease in productivity and work performance, and low levels of job satisfaction.

And it probably wont surprise you to learn that one of the biggest culprits of workplace stress.

With so many of us being virtually glued to our laptops and smartphones, work is never more than a foot away. While the ability to send a quick email may reduce our existential over head, it can also mean the lines between work life and personal life become almost non-existent.

What can we do to keep work at the office?

It will likely be many years (if ever) before businesses and governments find effective ways to help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. In light of this, it must be our responsibility, as individuals, to ensure we protect our personal time.

Following are 5 ways to set up boundaries in order to keep your work at the office.

1. Pause your inbox.

Sometimes, the urge to check your email can be too big of a temptation. One way to overcome this is to use a tool like Inbox Pause for mail accounts. It works exactly like youd imagine: simply set your inbox to pause when youre done work for the day, and hit unpause when youre ready to get back at it. Be sure to set up an autoresponder letting your colleagues or clients know you wont be checking email overnight!

2. Write a to-do list before you leave work.

Sometimes the simple act of getting incomplete tasks out of your mind and onto paper (or more likely, computer or phone app) can help. When you have a solid plan of attack for tomorrow, its a little easier to resist work tonight.

3. Turn off your phone when you walk out the door.

I know, common sense, right? Yet how many of us actually do it? If your work calls route to your cell phone, unroute them. If your cell number and work number are thesame number, its time to change that. Mention in your voicemail message that youll return all calls in the morning.

4. Mentally prepare for personal time.

I know that when I leave work and fail to consciously disengage from work-related thoughts, I bring my work home with me. To avoid this, make an effort to stop thinking about work, and consciously focus on the evening ahead.

5. Stay later rather than bringing work home.

On the nights that finishing up a project, email or task is unavoidable, its better to tag on an extra hour at days end rather than bringing your work home with you. Set a timer for when youll leave, and then stick to it. Dont let work eat into your valuable personal time!

Do you think theres too much pressure to bring work home? How do you protect your personal and family life from the demands of work? Share below!