This article is the final part of a 3-part series, you can read the first 2 parts using the these links: (Part 1) Making your morning commute do more for you (Part 2) Making your lunch break do more for you
All too often, after a long day’s work, it’s easy to come home and just veg out on the sofa. And sometimes, that’s okay. We’ve all been there. I have many a-time. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing this Wednesday evening, either side of writing this article.
However, that’s not the ideal way to spend every evening. Before you know it, you’re in a robotic routine which looks something like: wake-work-home-wake-work-home….
Here are a couple of ideas to help you break this cycle and shake things up. Some may seem really simple and obvious, and that’s the point… even one or two tiny changes might help you feel better in the long run:
1. Leave work on time
This is so simple, and yet so overlooked. If I could count the time that I’ve worked ‘overtime’, I’m pretty sure it would amount to days and weeks of lost time. Time that could have been spent getting my work done during the day, during working hours. Time that I’ll never get back.
On those days where I worked late, until 7/8/9pm or even later… I’d end up frazzled and hungry; I’d end up eating dinner late, and then would end up watching TV late as I, understandably, needed to feel like I’d actually had some down-time. I’d then go to bed late, and I’d be thrown when I had to wake up the next morning. In other words, the knock-on effects of just one ‘late’ at the office are huge.
Do yourself a favour — do what you need to do to leave the office on time. It’ll mean that you actually have ‘an evening’ to start with!
2. Take a shower and/or change clothes the moment you walk through the door
By doing so, you’ll feel more relaxed and more out of ‘work mode’. In other words, mind and body will be able to relax and switch off more easily. Which means more quality down-time.
3. Put your phone on silent/turn it off/hide it!
You’ve been responding to emails and looking at screens all day long… you then probably will have done some news/social media scrolling (see ‘point 2’ here re: how you can cut this out) on the way home… and then you might well be tempted to take that phone out again when you’re at home. It’s clear that a lot of us are addicted to our phones.
If this is you, keeping your phone away from you is no bad thing. Confession: I went out for a meal with my family last night… I kept my phone at home. For a reason.
If you know that you’re the type of person who just won’t be able to resist the urge, put it away. Whack it on airplane mode. And if you have a work mobile… for heaven’s sake, turn that thing off. -_-
Besides — have a ‘no phones at the table’ / ‘no phones in the bedroom’ will do wonders for your family life / your romantic life. #qualitytime
4. Do something different
If you’ve stucked to ‘number 1’ in this article and have actually left work on time… you’ll actually have a whole evening to play with 🙂 There’s are a whole bunch of ways you can spend it. Whether it’s reading a book, having some down-time (vegging-out on sofa, aside) or going to an evening class, there are so many options. You can get some inspiration here.
5. Get to sleep on time
‘On time’ here means whatever works for you. If you’re an adult between the ages of 18 and 65, the National Sleep Foundation recommends between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. You’ll probably have a rough idea of how much sleep you need to feel fresh. If in doubt, and you’re currently getting less, try going for 8 hours of sleep a night. With a doubt, sleep is one of the absolute key ingredients to feeling happy and healthy.
Note: if you’re constantly exhausted, it’s likely come from a lack of sleep that has accumulated and led to sleep debt.
You might also like: Sleep habits I formed when working in the City
Friday 22nd September, 2017
This article first appeared here.