Close your day well today and be more productive working at home tomorrow

Over in our Facebook group we shared some simple tips for finding your working-from-home rhythm, as we started to settle into some kind of routine.

One of our Facebook family, Catherine, made a great point in response to that post – that, actually, while some of us may be struggling to get started, for others the challenge is being able to stop their working day.

We suggested making a non-negotiable appointment with yourself at the end of each day. This is a chance to reflect on what you’ve done today, and to plan your priorities for tomorrow (using our very simple rinse-and-repeat steps, of course!).

But it has a third objective, and it’s a really high value one in these rather chaotic times, when the muddle of so many different roles threatens to blend into one big bag of overwhelm…

It signals to your brain that it is time to shift out of work gear.

In addition to this review-and-plan, here are a few more really simple but effective tips to help you change hats at the end of each working day. (These might sound obvious – but we’re all pushing through with a lot of mental noise right now. Simple steps are absolutely what we need.)

1. Make plans.

We know what you’re thinking. We can hardly make plans to meet friends, bag a table at our favourite restaurant, or venture far for anything that might usually fill our evenings. But if we don’t make plans, we’ll almost certainly eat some food, put the kids to bed, and slump on the sofa. *Sometimes* that’s a perfect evening – but how about being kind to yourself? How about a bath, watching a film, an online yoga class? Or just relaxing, but intentionally with the book you’ve been meaning to read for ages? Write down your plans in the diary you’ve just been reviewing.

2. Pack up.

If your current workspace is the kitchen table, make a point of not only shutting down your laptop, but also putting it away in its case. It’s oh-so-easy to leave it in sight and in reach – which makes it even more oh-so-easy to just check one more thing or send one more email later, instead of the non-work things you promised yourself.

3. Leave your work space.

Walking away from said kitchen table or your home office signals the end of the day. And this is the perfect time for your daily walk or cycle outdoors. The exercise is a release, the fresh air is energizing, and the physical break is a great way to tell your brain that you’re shifting gears from one role to another. Think of it as an alternative commute home.

What do you find helpful to make the switch from work to home, when everything is happening in the same place?

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