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…
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….
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:
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.
The best way to refrain from doing something is to eliminate the methods/routes that will cause you to do it.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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?
“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.
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,