Set your priorities
Though basic, start by thinking about what is of most value to you. If it is family and family events (vacation, games, recitals, etc.), mark them in your work calendar and plan to take time off. Doing this in advance can make it easier than trying to squeeze it in last minute. It can also help you stand firm in attending those events when you know their importance ranks higher than your work.
Set work hours…and stick to them!
What is your typical workday? 8:00 – 5:00, with an hour lunch in the middle? Whatever times you have set, stick with them! Yes, easier said than done. Try to practice physically leaving the office once your day has ended. Working from home? Get up from your desk, shut off your computer, and walk away. Working after hours can be a slippery slope once you become comfortable working later. Set your end time, and then stick to that.
Your notifications…are they helping?
Okay, so you have physically left your workspace (whether it be at home or the office). But now you start to feel anxious as you can see emails coming in and slack/teams messages being sent. Do you feel like you are back at work? Is it necessary for you to respond after work hours? This will depend on your position, of course, but if it is not necessary, try muting those notifications or even deleting those apps from your phone. Gasp – I know. Unheard of. But if you are looking for that work-life balance, turning off these notifications will make that goal more achievable.
Schedule time for yourself
Whether it be a vacation, going to the spa, on a hike, or playing golf – schedule it in! Even leaving to go out for lunch or the gym during your break in the middle of the day can be scheduled into your calendar to help make it a priority. Workplace burnout is harmful for both you and your employer, so save all parties the trouble and relax and enjoy life outside of work. When you return, you will feel re-energized and ready to take on the tasks at hand.
Perhaps the hardest of them all. Make your goal of disconnecting non-negotiable. Remember your end goal when the challenges to work after hours arise. Sometimes it can be hard to not stay late or answer calls, emails, texts, or messages. But if you truly want to disconnect, remember that your response to all of these seemingly small actions will either guide you toward or away from your goal.
And finally…take a look at your company
Okay, so you have done all of these things, but you still are not able to completely disconnect. When you try, do you feel guilt or receive criticism from your employer? If that is the case, perhaps it is time to look for a position with a new company. It is important to work for an organization that will value you as an individual, understanding that there is more to your life than your career.
Looking for a new career? Be sure to check out AgCareers.com
You can create a profile for free and even set up alerts so that you are notified when positions are posted in your area of interest.