#AskTisha 1| How to Leave Work at Work: 10 Tips

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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Welcome to my new #AskTisha series!

I get a few questions that I regrettably fail to follow up. So I asked you guys on social media to feel free to submit post requests (not really expecting a response) and here I am answering my first question!

I hope this series proves somewhat helpful to you guys- please feel free to submit questions/requests via my social media (Twitter & Facebook), email or through the Contact Me page- anonymous submissions are welcome!

So, after undoubtedly one of my shortest introductions ever: here goes…

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How to Leave Work at Work

When you clock out of the office at 5 pm, your brain may decide it wants to do a couple hours of unpaid overtime… We’ve all been there! I’ll share my tips on how I worked to avoid this and hopefully you can stop dreaming about that project that has been stressing you far beyond closing time.

But before I get into my tips, I think it’s worth being conscious of the fact that ultimately, if you are passionate about something, it is likely to be on your mind… a lot! Like food, for example, I think about food before I eat, whilst I am eating and even after. I think about food so much that it was the first thing that came to my mind. However, I try not to dream about food because I have an African grandmother and we all know how that goes…

Back to the topic….

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The aim isn’t to erase all recollection of the working day, otherwise, you’d probably struggle to get back on track the following morning. For me, the aim whilst on my industrial placement year was to ensure that my free time really was my free time. Here is how I did it:

Find Distractions

1. Leave it at work- literally!

Switch off your work phone, laptop, leave the notebooks in the office and ensure that everything that could possibly have you thinking of or doing any work is out of reach. If I’m on a diet but I have chocolate fingers lying around, I WILL eat the chocolate fingers.

#askTisha ask tisha tisha talks behind the schmile learn to leave work at work

The best way to refrain from doing something is to eliminate the methods/routes that will cause you to do it.

2. Music

Music is this magical thing that can instantly change one’s mood: use it!

If you get in after a long day of work and you can’t seem to switch off: blast some tunes! This could lead to a one-man rave, a trip down memory lane or a state of calmness. Wherever the music may lead you, let it help you change the mood and tone of your thoughts. I personally find that worship music works best for me when I need to clear my mind because it doesn’t come with any strings attached. If need be, have a playlist of your choice ready for such occasions.

3. Reading/Books

Reading is one of my favourite hobbies and while I was working and I did a lot of it! Sometimes I even read during my lunch break because I was desperate to transport my mind. Self-help books and other non-fiction reads are great. I personally enjoy reading long fictional novels because they allow me to temporarily escape into someone else’s world. If long novels aren’t really your thing, there must be online magazines or blogs *cough cough* that can occupy your mind!

4. Hobbies

Hobbies are great. Find one. Out of the 382 days I spent doing placements and internships, I probably spent at least 300 of them blogging. It was my default activity after work. Whether or not the topic was related to what may have transpired during the day it was helpful; serving as either a form of release from my issues or a distraction. The working life can become very repetitive, much different to the ever-changing university routine- finding a hobby will give you something else to think or even stress about!

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5. Visit the Gym/Exercise

I can already hear you whining. Stop it. Go to the gym. Put that energy to better use. Rather than ranting and raving about your annoying colleagues or thinking about how to tackle that almost impossible project and getting worked up: exercise! You don’t even need to go to the gym- take a walk, breathe in the fresh air and relax your mind!

6. Pray/Worship/Fellowship/Meditate

This goes without saying tbh… Prayer is much more than making requests to God, it can be a method of releasing burdens. Worship has been discussed already with regards to music, but your worship can take place in a variety of forms. Fellowship is also great: mid-week fellowship especially. It’s a time to unwind, reflect, learn, socialise and spend time in God’s presence with God’s people. Mediation can also take many forms- I began practising yoga whilst working and once you hit Shavasana the world really does become silent.

7. Socialise

Can’t distract yourself? No worries, let others do the job for you! Socialising with colleagues is great, but also make time for friends and family that can take you out of the work environment both physically and mentally.

8. Make Plans & Stick to Them

I often fell into the habit of having ‘lazy weekends’ (never leaving my bed) and in some cases, I wouldn’t see another human being until I got back into the office. Terrible I know, what’s worse is that it meant that my mind could easily wander. I would start thinking about whatever challenges I was having at work and struggle to get it off my mind again. Having plans is, of course, another form of distraction. This doesn’t mean you should paint the town red every Friday night and splash the cash, it could be something simple but time consuming like washing your hair. My fellow 4C girls know that this is all day, sometimes even two-day business. Trust me it works.

9. Avoid Small Talk

“Hey, how are you?

“Good, yourself?”

“I’m alright thanks, how is work?”

See how quickly that could go wrong? Yeah, this small talk business isn’t always necessary… If on one day in particular work is really stressing you, then skip the chit-chat, in a polite way of course. Discuss the weather! Unless of course, you’re a meteorologist.

10. Discipline Yourself

If tips 1 to 9 have failed you, my final suggestion is to let it all out. Have your rant. Scream, shout and cry if you need to. BUT (this is a big but), only if ranting has worked for you in the past!!! Ranting does nothing for me, if anything it makes me angrier which is why I prefer to write things down and formulate solutions. But if ranting is beneficial for you, set some time aside (this is where the discipline comes in) and get it out of your system. Just remember that even your rant needs to have a closing time, otherwise you’ve defeated the entire purpose.

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I hope this has been helpful!

Please feel free to leave your tips below in the comments, share this post with anyone it might benefit and send me your questions/requests!

All the best,

Tisha x
#Schmile

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68 Comments

  1. October 19, 2017 / 12:48 am

    I love the idea of creating posts in response to what your readers want! I’d love to ad my two cents to number 10. Stop syncing work emails to your phone and getting notifications!! I have outlook on my phone in case I’m out of the office during the work day but need to have access to stuff or make sure I’m not missing anything. BUT my notifications are not turned on and it’s not on my main home screen. Seriously, I be surprised sometimes at the hours of the day people think it’s okay to send emails. I’m just like NAH. Why would I be responding to you on a Sunday at 10pm sis? And I peep the good image to pin so I’ll be sure to Pin it to one of my boards

    • TishaKimiira
      October 19, 2017 / 8:51 am

      This is a great point- damn, why didn’t I think of that 😂But it’s honestly the worst thing- I have clocked out, let me go!!!!!
      And thank you!!!💙

  2. October 19, 2017 / 9:37 am

    My husband and I used to be notorious for talking about work hours after we got home! We realized after a while that we were giving it to much more energy that it didn’t deserve. Now, every now and again, we may share no more than 5 minutes and then shut up about it. We also try not to bring home any work. I also shut down all computer file and tabs on the laptop that I use at work when I get home. All that helps me switch over to home mode. Thanks for sharing!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 19, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Being able to shut off is key! Taking the stresses of work home with you can be extremely draining! Thanks for reading!💙

  3. October 19, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    I definitely needed this post! It can be so hard to rip yourself away from work, especially when you have a job that you actually enjoy (rare) LOL thanks for the great content!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 19, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      Haha love and hate relationship! Thanks for reading 💙

  4. October 19, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    This article is full of helpful tips. I love the infographic within the article. Thanks again for these tips!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 19, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      Thanks for reading- glad it was helpful!😊

  5. October 19, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    These tips are hard for me to follow- because I am somewhat addicted to being busy.
    I love my job, and I honestly would work around the clock if I did not know better. That said, tips 3&4 resonate the most with me. I LOVEEEE reading (and now blogging), so I make time for it. I also am trying to spend more quality time with my husband outside of work, so that also takes my mind off the office. Finally, I make sure to call / visit my friends over the weekend, to make sure I keep up with their lives and am there when they need me. If I did not have those things, I would be a certifiable workaholic.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 19, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      It’s great that you have a job that you love- unfortunately not many can say this! But as you’ve stated, you need to make time for other things aswell- balance is key! Thank you for reading💙💙💙

  6. October 20, 2017 / 1:16 am

    Love the infographic. It’s easy to leave work at work unless it’s something that was said or you read or you’re in the medical field and a patient dies.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 7:34 am

      Thank you so much for reading! There can be many situations that make it difficult, it’s all about discipline 😊

  7. October 20, 2017 / 1:34 am

    I needed to read this. My school year hasn’t been making me happy and it’s only one month into the school year. Thank you fro this post. Forwarding.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 7:35 am

      So glad it has been helpful! All the best to you 💙

  8. October 20, 2017 / 2:20 am

    I am a strong believer in setting boundaries between work and other areas of life (which is a lot harder for entrepreneurs or those who work from home, but still possible). One of the tricks I have learned over the years of working in support work is to do something cleansing when I get home like taking a shower or changing into my PJs (I work nights). It’s almost like I’m able to ‘clean away’ any lingering thoughts from the workplace and switch gears!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 7:37 am

      I love this idea of shedding your work life!!! Thank you for reading & sharing, I appreciate your comment💙

  9. October 20, 2017 / 2:50 am

    This was so helpful! I’m very guilty of bringing work home when I’m not supposed to 😩 I don’t even give myself time to unwind honestly, I just fall in the bed at night lol

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 7:37 am

      So many of us do this unfortunately! Glad it was useful! Thanks for reading💙

  10. October 20, 2017 / 4:23 am

    All great points! I do all of these things but the one thing that for sure gets my Mind off of work is hobbies. Ever since I started blogging it’s been a great outlet and distraction from my normal work day. Thanks for sharing these great tips!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 7:38 am

      This definitely works for me too! Although for some people it’s seen as a second job! Thanks for reading 💙

  11. October 20, 2017 / 5:14 am

    I’m a firm believer in leaving work at work. I don’t check emails after a certain hour, because my job is not life or death. Currently I’ve freelancing so I create non-work hours.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 7:39 am

      I think it’s especially important for freelancers to set boundaries too! Thanks for reading 💙

  12. October 20, 2017 / 12:16 pm

    All great tips! I do think it’s very important to have hobbies that you really enjoy. It gives you something to look forward to outside of work.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 1:43 pm

      Thank you for reading!💙

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      Thank you so much for reading💙

  13. October 20, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Hello Tisha. You have great points to follow which are realistic. I am sure you can agree too ( because you mentioned hobbies) that blogging creates an creative outlet outside work. Also music is something I find to keep myself distracted sometimes. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 1:53 pm

      I most definitely agree! Blogging is my major if not only hobby! Thanks for reading!💙

  14. October 20, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    Yasss I can relate to this so much! My job has been stressing me lately (mainly because I am ready for a change in career fields) and it seems like everyday I come home someone wants to ask “How was work?” Noooo. I dont want to talk about it lol but I have also found that a steamy shower/bath and a nap definitely help wash away my troubles. Along with a glass of wine 🙂 I’m going to music though because I haven’t thought about it!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      Haha I’ve had times where I simply said “next topic please”! And yes! A nice long shower after a gym session always does me well! Definitely try! Glad it was helpful!💙

  15. October 20, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    These are fantastic, so right on; great reminders! I love the funny pics and video. I love humor a lot, that’s also a good distraction from work.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 6:08 pm

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it!!!💙

  16. October 20, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    I’ve always really been good at clocking out when the day is done. But I can definitely see where most can benefit from this list . Great tips!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 20, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

  17. October 21, 2017 / 2:55 am

    This is the truth! I find that discipline can initially be hard but it’s necessary.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 7:29 am

      Thank you for reading!😊

  18. October 21, 2017 / 7:43 am

    very interesting tips, it really is necessary to let go of work at your workplace to remain free and happy. Loved your tips

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 7:52 am

      Thanks for reading- glad you liked it!💙

  19. October 21, 2017 / 9:07 am

    Nice and lovely tips. It takes discipline to achieve

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 9:33 am

      Thank you so much for reading!😊

  20. October 21, 2017 / 9:25 am

    Finding work/life balance is so difficult. Since I work from home I really struggle with leaving work at my desk and not focusing on it all weekend.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 9:35 am

      Working from home or being self employed can make it very difficult but discipline is what we all need to make it easier! Thanks for reading 😊

  21. October 21, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    This is a great idea – to create content based on questions from the readers.
    I too, turn off the blackberry, and try not to focus on the workplace while at home. You need a time that’s not consumed by the stressors from work.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 5:15 pm

      Thank you!😊Definitely- a break is needed from EVERYTHING in life!

  22. October 21, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Thanks for writing up this post – so needed! Having a hobby definitely helps for me as a temporary distraction, but I must adopt some of your tips to fill in the gaps.

    I will definitely need to delete this Outlook app or mute notifications – as one of your commenters mentioned – because it’s really the devil. I’ll be thinking ‘why is this person sending me an email at 12am?’ But at the same time, why am I checking emails at this hour? 🤔

    Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I will not die because of work 🙄

    Great post!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      MUTE IT GIRL!!!!! They can contact you DURING office hours! If you die work continues- never forget! Glad it was helpful 💙

  23. October 21, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    This was such a great read! When I was in the working field music and books are two of the best things I could have! I love the info graphic so pretty very eye catching!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 x

  24. October 21, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    this one is a real struggle for me. the gym does help a lot and so does reading a good book. Turning the wifi off is the hardest but most effective way on the very hard days..

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 6:59 pm

      I’ve never thought about disconnecting from my wifi, but for the days where you need a complete shutdown this could be great! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  25. October 21, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing these 10 tips, now all i need to do is stick to them! 🙂

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      Haha easier said than done! Thanks for reading- all the best! 🙂

  26. October 21, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    work a lot, but when it’s quitting time, I’m out! lol These are really good tips.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 21, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      As it should be haha! Thank you x

  27. October 22, 2017 / 1:30 am

    Such great tips!! I’m a major advocate of this! Work life balance is so important!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 / 1:49 am

      Thank you so much for reading 💙

  28. October 22, 2017 / 2:31 am

    Working from home makes “clocking out” so much harder. This was a great read! Thank you!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 / 9:33 am

      I hope it was helpful! Thanks for reading 💙

  29. Stephanie Jeannot
    October 22, 2017 / 4:22 am

    It is not always so simple to be able to leave work at work but glad that you can find meaningful ways like reading books and music to switch off. I think that is a great way to be and very important for a healthy balance of Home and work.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 / 9:34 am

      Not simple at all!!! Thank you for reading 💙

  30. October 22, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    I had to learn to do this. I have literally had work stress out me in a creative rut that prevented me from working on my personal projects. Sometimes it lasted MONTHS!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 / 5:19 pm

      I really hope this was helpful!!!! Nothing worse than having something consume you. Thanks for reading 💙

  31. October 22, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    I’m thankful these are tips I will never need. I work to live and the minute I’m out of there I shut all of that off. Thankfully my life outside of work is far more exciting.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 / 10:07 pm

      Haha! Glad to hear that someone has already mastered the art! Thanks for reading! 🙂 x

  32. EG III
    October 22, 2017 / 10:15 pm

    It’s nothing better than being able to go home after a long day of work, unwind, hit the gym and just completely leave the stress of the day behind. Sigh…I miss those days lol!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 / 10:18 pm

      Agreed!!! Thanks for reading 😊

  33. October 24, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I am so in need of this as the school year just started and I am already buried under loads of work!

    Thank you for sharing!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 24, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      You’re welcome! All the best with the year 💙

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