To read part one of this story, click here!
If you can’t, make it something to look forward to. The commute to work is something we can’t avoid, unless you’re one of the one in five Americans who work from home, so if multiple transfers and congested roads are an undeniable part of your trip to and from work, you might as well make it a chunk of time to enjoy. Listen to that podcast your coworker keeps telling you to check out, read the same books that your kids are reading in school, or check out some new music. Even singing along to the radio is known to cause a boost of dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, which reduces stress, boosts your immune system, and makes you feel good!
Do nothing. Who would you think are the most productive of employees? Those who work the longest hours, or those who took the most breaks? You’re probably surprised to find that those who allow themselves a little time to relax (approximately 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work) are actually the most productive of employees. Research suggests that time away from the cubicle not only allows us to recharge, but when taken in the “right doses” can lead to more focused productivity.
Set clear boundaries. Once you start replying to work emails after hours and on the weekends, you’ll put yourself in a habit that can contribute to burning out and work-life conflict, so it’s important to establish some non negotiable’s that you and your loved ones will thank you for. This can mean turning off your work phone on the weekends, including a statement in your email signature about when people can expect a response, or establishing a “screen-free” time.
Fear “work inertia.” Listen, we get it, sometimes you’re just in a groove. Forget meals, plans, or answering that text, you’re working, and you’re not stopping ’til it’s done. This is a problem, especially for perfectionists who feel they can move on to another task before finishing the first, because it can lead to hunger, sleep issues, and even persistent lateness. Understanding that taking your time won’t lead to disaster, and taking a chance to step away and come back to your work refreshed can be more valuable than we realize.