You’ve been working from home for almost a year and nailed your work routine to finish your tasks on time. Even better, your work-from-home time management has improved heavily, and you don’t feel so weighed down or anxious. However, you have a hard time disconnecting at the end of the day.
Don’t worry! We did our research by talking to several people who have difficulty creating a work-from-home end-of-day routine that works well for them. So, how do you end your day at work, and what steps can you take to improve this process? Read on to learn more about how you can unwind and feel better at the end of each workday.
How Do You End the Day Working From Home?
Your work-from-home end-of-day routine should focus on establishing a stronger work-life balance. It should provide a formal end to your day that lets you get back into your home life with your loved ones or tackle day-to-day tasks. Pay attention to these three key points to achieve this balance:
- Preparing for your next day
- Relaxing and detaching your mind from work
- Leaving your office area when work is over
Each step we discuss below helps with one or more of these simple ideas. They’ll help you create an effective routine for working at home that improves your overall mental health and increases your productivity working from home. Just as significantly, it will help you make your home office feel more like a work area.
How Should You Leave Your Desk Area at the End of the Day?
When leaving your desk or home office area at the end of the day, it is essential to leave it ready for the next morning. You don’t have to do much work to prepare it, per se, but you should be able to sit down the next day and get to work with minimal difficulty. Here are a few guidelines to consider:
- Do: Leave your desk prepared for work the next day, including keeping your computer on your daily planner updated.
- Don’t: Get up and leave your desk without prepping
- Do: Clean up your desk a bit to eliminate clutter
- Don’t: Leave your desk a mess at the end of the day
- Do: Prepare your following morning work routine, such as putting out your favorites or prepping your work journal
- Don’t: Stay focused on problems you had at work, such as conflicts with co-workers
This last tip is crucial for remote workers because it is easy for remote workers to feel excessive stress and anxiety when they let their minds linger too long at work at the end of the day. Try these results to see real results after no more than two weeks!
How Do You Let Go of Work at the End of the Day?
Knowing how to let go at the end of the day is vital because it can create strict boundaries between your work and home life. While it is admirable to work hard and fill your day with tasks, giving yourself no time to relax is a recipe for disaster. Even the hardest working people, like Elon Musk, need a few daily hours to unwind and avoid unnecessary strain. Follow these three tips to start:
- Find something to do after work that distracts you from work
- Spend time with friends or family immediately after finishing work
- Get away from your desk or home office area to avoid falling back into work
It is important to pay attention to your body when creating a work-from-home end-of-day routine. For example, you may need a short nap after finishing work if you feel exhausted from working too hard. Paying attention to how you feel physically can help you avoid overworking and minimize strain. Just as importantly, it can make detaching from work at the end of the day easier.
For instance, rather than pushing yourself to finish a task ahead of time by working extra hours, listen to your body and stop when you’re exhausted! Working when you’re tired will produce low-quality work and stress you out more. Instead, stop when you can and take the following steps below to create an end-of-day routine that effectively lets you stay on task and work.
15 Work From Home End of Day Routine
Many people judge too quickly and say that work from home sucks. Don’t be one of them. You can thankfully use these 15 tips no matter what methods you use for your day-to-day work management. They’ll help you create an effective work-from-home end-of-day routine that will streamline your overall work experience and ensure you feel comfortable at the end of each day.
1. Always Set Specific Starting and Ending Times
Try to avoid the temptation to work late in a remote position. Set specific starting and ending plan and stick to them every day. This helps to create strict boundaries in your work and home life and makes it easier to step away from the office when you’re done. Just as importantly, it creates a strict schedule that your family and friends can follow when planning various activities with you after you’re done working. After some time, your body will adapt to this schedule and become second nature.
2. Clean Up Your Desk Area
Clutter can be a very frustrating problem in any desk environment. Too much clutter distracts the mind and makes it hard to focus. Even worse, clutter can also affect your emotional health or workflow.
Spend a few minutes at the end of each day cleaning up your desk to keep this clutter under control. Add a file cabinet or other storage device to your office to better manage your clutter and paperwork.
3. Make a To-Do List
Making a to-do list is one of the most effective work from home hacks of your end-of-the-day. Sit down and list what you must do the next day, including all work-related tasks. Rate these tasks on importance and urgency, always doing the important tasks first. Try to block out how much time you’ll need for each task in your schedule and add 15-20 minutes extra than expected to give yourself some buffer room in your day.
4. Review Your Completed Activities
After making a to-do list, it is a good idea to sit down and log what activities you have to do that day. Doing so gives you a sense of accomplishment and can help you plan your next day. For example, you may find you finished a project that lets you start planning another. Rate how well you completed each task and how satisfied you felt with them. Doing so helps you keep track of your daily progress.
5. Unwind With Some Exercise
Exercise is an important part of our daily lives and is easy to ignore in a work-from-home end-of-day routine. Try to get a little exercise to improve your physical and mental health when you finish work. Find workouts that relax your mind and minimize stress to get the best results. For instance, yoga is a great way to decrease anxiety and improve strength and flexibility.
6. Schedule Time With Family
Set up a specific “fun time” with your family after work. This can include playing a board game, walking, watching a movie, or simply taking a ride in the car. Scheduling these times can help you connect with your family and build a stronger personal life. It can also restore your work-life balance and improve your mood by releasing endorphin chemicals by having fun.
7. Schedule an Easy Win for the morning
Here’s a fun way to make your work days enjoyable: schedule an “easy win” first thing in the morning. While you typically want to do your hardest tasks first, finishing one simple task improves your mood and makes tackling harder tasks easier. Do one task during this time and then move on to important and urgent tasks. Use your end-of-work routine to schedule this time, including an easy win at the end of your day that also helps you go out with a bang rather than frustration.
8. Create the Third Space to Improve Your Transition
Commuting to and from work often gives you time to unwind and think about your day before getting home. This is called the “third space” between work and home and is something remote workers lack. However, you can still create a little separation by creating an end-of-work routine, such as going for a walk, getting a coffee, or going somewhere else before you get back home for the day. You can also take a break during the middle of the day, such as taking a walk, also to clear your head.
9. Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done
Remember when you did well at something, and your parents rewarded you with something nice? You can reward yourself like this as an adult by gifting yourself at the end of every day. Create an end-of-day celebration that includes a healthy snack, visiting your favorite store, buying a small personal gift, or otherwise rewarding yourself. Blasting your favorite song as you finish work can be a suitable reward.
Note: reward yourself only when you put in a truly good day at work to avoid decreasing the gift’s effectiveness.
10. Lock Your Home Office at the End of the Day
Locking your home office at the end of the day is a powerful symbolic message. It lets you feel like your day is over and makes it easier to transition to your personal life. Avoid putting your home office in a place you regularly use, such as your bedroom. Putting an office in a high-use area makes overwork too tempting and adversely affects your work-from-home end-of-day routine. If you don’t have a separate home office, you can instead have a desk or set of furniture that you only use for work and nothing else. Turning off your computer completely also helps to avoid the temptation to keep working.
11. Practice a Mindfulness Technique
Mindfulness is a powerful concept focusing on living in the moment and engaging with your thoughts and body. Try to practice a little mindfulness at the end of the day by gauging how you feel and what you could do to improve your work routine. Yoga and meditation are powerful mindfulness tools that can help you fully gauge your emotions and thoughts.
12. Get Out Into Nature
Nature can be incredibly soothing to the mind and work well as a powerful relaxation tool. If you live in a big city and don’t have easy access to nature, find a park where you enjoy sitting for a half hour every day. Even a half hour can help your mind relax a little bit more. In the winter, try to find comfortable and warm clothes that let you get outside comfortably and safely.
13. Schedule Fun Time With Friends
Socialization is important for mental health and can help provide a great end-of-the-day reward. People need time with others to feel normal, so try to sit down with your family and chat at the end of each day or meet up with friends when you can. Even a few minutes on the phone with a friend in another state can provide you with a little social interaction that makes your end of the day easier.
14. Reflect at the End of the Day
Sit down when you have a moment and reflect on your overall day. Try to do this towards the end of your day, before you sleep. Are you happy with how things went? Were there any frustrations you couldn’t tackle? Create a plan to handle these problems later.
15. Consider Keeping a Journal
After reflecting on your day, write down your ideas in a journal that you can use to explore these ideas further. Writing them down also provides a record you can check at the end of every day to keep yourself on track. This step is important for keeping yourself focused during your end-of-day routine.
Creating a work-from-home end-of-day routine using these tips will help you improve your work-life balance and minimize anxiety and depression. It may also help you work more effectively by making it easier to prepare for the next day and minimizing unnecessary work complications. Try out whatever methods make the most sense for you and tweak them to suit your work-from-home routine.