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Working from home is nothing new for me. You could say I am something of a pro. For years I was no stranger to stuffing the washing machine with my left hand whilst simultaneously emailing with my right. But, let me tell you, life works SO much better when you separate work from it. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is certainly something to be said for the work/life ‘blend’ but I find that most successful by compartmentalising the elements of my day – I have time blocks for the tinies, time blocks for emails, time blocks for meal planning and so on and so on. But the tricky part is, after a day of jumping between all those blocks, knowing how to switch off.
Hive invited me to share some of my favourite hacks for a harmonious home in the current climate but I think knowing the tricks to switch off after working from home are always relevant. I came up with three steps – just some simple things I implement every day for a healthy balance.
Scroll down to discover the steps…
DO AFTER WORK DRINKS
For me, the after work drink is a whole mood even if it is a glass of iced water in hand. In the height of summer I take myself into the fresh air and warmth of the garden but, now autumn is upon us, I prefer my feet up, atmospheric lighting and some good company. A chance to decompress and untangle the day. NEVER underestimate the power of those moments to talk shop with your colleagues (ok, your ‘colleague’ might be your dog or your husband or your mate on the phone).
Teaming up with Hive gave me the chance to hook my home hub up to some smart lighting which is just so perfect for setting the right tone. The dimmable and colour changing lightbulbs can be scheduled through the app to create the right mood at just the right time of day – after work drinks at 6pm? Hive knows and switches my daytime white light to a warmer, more subdued glow conducive to unwinding. The simple act of asking how someone’s day was, and answering in return, signals the end of work and the start of life – the wind down has begun…
HAVE A GOOD OLD FASHIONED PROPER DINNER
It does not have to be a fancy meal but it should be at the table. We eat together, as a family, every night. Light a candle, dim the overhead lights, turn on the low level lamps (use the award winning Hive app to do it all or ask Alexa or Google Assist to do it for you) play the music and really enjoy one another’s company. Truly, dinner on your lap in front of the tv, and most likely with your phone by your side, does NOT signal to your brain that the work day is over in quite the same way. Try it and I promise you will not go back…
Now, just before I get to my final step, here is a really fun trick to get the kids off to bed… because all parents need that little bit of time to themselves don’t they? We have the floor lamp scheduled to turn red at 7.45pm and ‘Red means bed!’ – the toys get tidied and it is upstairs for the tinies. Somehow, perhaps because it is not us determining this bedtime but the lamp sending the signal, there are no arguments, it is simply accepted. And we never miss their bedtime – is there anything worse than realising you skipped right past 8pm and you didn’t even know it?
SWITCH OFF OUT OF HOURS
Get cosy. Dim those lights down low and grab your cosiest blanket. This is ‘you time’. Put the phones away and do not even think about opening those laptops. I find if I have followed the previous steps by the time I get to this point of the night I have zero desire to even think about work. Success. But the important thing now is to follow through until morning (I plug my phone in to charge in the kitchen overnight so I am not even tempted to have a quick social check – out of sight, out of mind). Goodnight.
I would love to know – do you do any of these things already or are you going to try them out?
This post is an advertisement feature with Hive but all thoughts are my own
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