Is Your Work Fulfilling You or Draining You?
I hope you answered "fulfilling me, of course!" However, what I have found in 15+ years of coaching 1000's of people is that often times a person's Fulfillment becomes the most draining part of their life.
So this week's focus is to create some simple steps in your life so that you can create ways to leave "work" at work. First, we are going to go through five simple ways to leave work stress at work, whether you are an employee, a manager, or a business owner.
Next, we are going to go through some bonus tips for business owners OR those of your that work from a home-based office space.
Let's dive in!!
Whether you have a cubicle, or you have an office, or whatever your work space may be... tidy it up! Take three minutes at the end of your day to quickly organize your space.
AND then take 2 minutes to prep for anything you may need first thing in the morning. Now you can end work organized, with no worries!
This is critical especially if you are going home to other people! Once you get home, the goal is for you to be fully present for those that you love. Whether you have kids, or you have a significant other, or you have extended family, whatever it is that you're going home to... I want you to be able to be fully present when you get into your house.
So the transition ritual can be as simple as stopping the car in the driveway and taking three deep cleansing breaths before you walk in the house.
Another ritual could be to listen to a podcast on the way home, or an audiobook, or audio course that helps you shift your focus.
I love listening to my favorite music as a transition! Just turn that jam up as loud as possible and let everything go.
Finally, it could be that you exercise before you get home. So maybe that's going to be your transition ritual. To go for a walk, do some yoga, or go to the gym... so when you transition from work to home, you are fully able to be present for those your love. Including yourself.
Emotionally and physically - this is key. Leave it ALL at work... your worries, your stress, your projects, your emails, everything.
This especially includes your work supplies, like your laptop. So if you're one that typically takes something home, like a file, a report, or your laptop, it's time to break that habit!
The goal is to create boundaries. To create bookends for the beginning and end of your business day so that you can be present for your loved ones.
And for yourself! This isn't always about other people. It is about having time for you, having "you time" and rejuvenating and rebooting your system. This is Fundamental to your mental health!
If you're in a position of upper management or leadership, believe me, I get it. It's difficult for anyone to leave work at work. And the more responsibility you have, the more pressure you feel to work after hours or when you get home.
That's not to say that occasionally when you're working on a huge project or you have a big deadline coming up, that you end up working from home after the kids go to bed. Sometimes it's necessary. Sometimes.
What I'm referring to is the 80 to 90% of the time that leaving work at work is the best boundary to have. So leave the work supplies at work!
I know, I know, I know! This one is hard!
With the instant access we have to email via our "smart" phones, it's so easy to fool yourself into just taking a quick peek. However, when you do that, you have no longer left work at work. You're no longer getting a true break.
Believe me... I am sooooo guilty of this.
Can you relate? First thing in the morning, you grab your phone and check your work email, or it's 9pm and you just need to check one more time before bed. If you are doing either or both of those, you are always in reactionary mode and never fully disconnecting and rebooting.
This is how work really bleeds over into a 24/7 gig. It bleeds into your weekends, your evenings, your first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed.
So it's not just about leaving work stress at work. It's about you living a truly fulfilled life by creating ways to disconnect and shift your focus to your other priorities.
If you are burning the candle at both ends, it is inevitable that you will feel burnt out and then you won't have the energy to focus on the other F Words of YOUR Life.
Remember, Fulfillment is only one of the 7 F Words. Fulfillment is our work life, our career, our job, or our own business, including your side hustle if you're working on one.
It's just one part of seven areas of your life. So where is the energy going to come from for the rest of the 6 F-Words if you're burning out in just one?
So simple it's brilliant! When you get home, changing out of your work clothes and into "play" clothes gives you a physical cue that you are shifting gears.
After you change your outfit, you're now in play mode or you're in mom mode or you're in wife mode. You're actually making a physical change in from from one set of clothes to the other and thus tangibly shifting your energy and focus. A simple and effective ritual to "remove" the stress of your work day!
I want you to think about how they apply in your life and in the flow of your work day and business. You don't get a "pass" in leaving work stress at work just because you own your own business or you work from home. It's even MORE critical that you use the 5 strategies above!
As a business owner, and/or if you work from home, you must create business hours for yourself.
I am so guilty of NOT doing this. So I am speaking from experience myself, as well as the 1000's of business owners I've coached and trained over the years. If you don't have business hours, you will end up working ALL. THE. TIME.
The key is to create bookends to your work day. What's the start time? What's the finish time? Put extra emphasis on the END TIME of your day. It doesn't really matter what time it is, as long as it aligns with the other goals and priorities you have in the other areas of your life. The key is to set the end time, and stick to it!
In addition to creating business hours, if you work from home or have a home office, you can reinforce your business hours by doing 2 physical things:
Sound silly? It is! AND IT WORKS!
Remember, this is just for you. It's a visual cue that right now, "I'm off, I'm focused on my other six areas of The F Words of Life."
The open/closed signed is also super effective if you live with your business partner. You can just point at it to remind them you are in a work-free time zone! More on that to come below.
Just like email boundaries, social media is literally available to us 24/7 at just the click of a button. As a business owner, if you're using social media to grow your business, to spread your message, to create content, etc, you must have social media boundaries.
So just like with the email boundary strategy above, you must create a boundary of when you are going to be "plugged in" versus when you are going to "unplug" from social media. Otherwise again, you're energy is always on "work mode" and that is how burnout happens.
If you are finding your work/business energy low, really take an honest inventory on how much time you are spending on email, social media, etc. Are you always ON? If so, you can't ever full recharge and will always be running on sub-par energy.
If you have a business partner who is your spouse or significant other, or your best friend, especially if you live together, this is a MUST!!
I've coached so many couples who go into business together because they want to grow a legacy, to build something that will impact their family, and because they love to be together. It's a beautiful thing!
However your relationship can't be all work and no play! And that can happen so easily unless you are intentional with your time, roles, and relationship.
The easiest way to do that is create work-free zones or times, where the conversations you are having are not about your business. If you are romantic partners, it's key that you have non-business time together!!
For example, the dining room table, or the living room, or the bedroom... no work talk allowed!
For example, between 7pm and 10pm, there are no work discussions. Or over breakfast, it's no business, only personal and family time. Create that open/closed sign I talked about in Bonus Step above and make it happen!
OK my friend! That's it!
I'm here to serve you, so if I can be of assistance or support you in any way, please don't hesitate to email me and let me know!
Make is an awesome Friday!
With gratitude and love,
Brenda F Reynolds
Founder & Owner
The F Words of Life
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