After a long day of work, it’s important to step back and relax. However, since many people have begun working from home, it’s been difficult to turn off the screens and officially unplug from work. And that can have a bad effect on overall mental and physical health.
If you’re struggling to leave work at work or turn off technology, you’re not alone. But there is hope, especially if you follow any of the tips mentioned below.
1. Schedule a screen break after work
Normally there’s a commute home to help people shut down from work or switch from job to home mode. However, if work takes place at home then it cuts off this downtime. Now instead of getting into the car, employees can try different tactics.
Add an hour after work or in the evening where you won’t look at a screen. This means non-work related things too like social media or personal email. Find something to do during this hour that takes you away from work. It might not be a full digital detox, but taking a break from screen time helps reduce anxiety and increase happiness.
2. Find a hobby or activity for after hours
One of the easiest ways to switch off work is finding something else to do with your time. Be it an athletic sport or crafting something, there’s a wide variety of activities to keep you busy and away from a screen.
Get with your family to visit a park or somewhere outside. Make plans with your friends to get out of the house or host backyard events with one another. Scheduling these events ahead of time will give you something to look forward to at the end of the day or in the weeks ahead.
Perhaps this is a chance for you and your team to relax together. Maybe it’s a team sport like soccer or kickball to build camaraderie between everyone. Or at the end of a large project, it’s a relaxing reward for a job well done like a team corporate massage or retreat.
3. Build personal boundaries for work check-ins
We’re all human; it might not be easy to completely turn off from work. In order to avoid this problem, maybe you can create a personal boundary for checking on work. It can be as simple as allowing yourself one hour to switch on to work or maybe selecting which days of the week you will work late for project deadlines.
Or if it’s not a critical project, let your team know you won’t be responding to emails after working hours. It can be hard for you and your team at first, but in the long run it benefits everyone. Not only for productivity, but reducing stress and other health problems. And these boundaries will allow you to focus on your family or activities fully, and not be distracted or disrupted by anything else.
4. Turn off social media
It’s not just the job that pulls you into looking at a screen, social media is another thing that causes everyone to look at their phones or computers. Many people find it easy to lose hours watching Instagram Reels or scrolling through their feeds.
Much like setting up restrictions on when to check work emails, you should set a schedule for looking at social media apps, that way you don’t lose your free time looking at the latest posts. There are also applications that can help you set times for when you can look at these apps. That way you will be prevented from breaking the promise you make to yourself to look away from screens.
5. Cull unnecessary apps on your phone
Deleting apps off of your phone will help you reduce the chance that you’ll be tempted to look at them. If they’re not easily accessible, it’s more than likely you won’t be swiping open your phone and clicking on them. Also unsubscribing from email newsletters that you automatically delete without opening will help too.
Consider the other benefits of deleting apps too. Maybe you need to save some money, so cutting out food delivery apps, like DoorDash or Uber Eats, will make you cook at home more. Or taking off some gaming apps will help you put the phone down and talk with your friends. So not only will your health be improved, but you can save money too!
Staying away from screens after work was easier back in the day. However, following any of the tips above will aid in shutting down technology and picking up something else. In the long run, this change will benefit your overall health and work production.
About the Author: Sara Carter is a co-founder of Enlightened Digital. She enjoys spending her days writing about technology and business, writing code or chasing her kids and dog.