One way to reduce job-related stress? Keep work at work.
In the Harvard Business Review, author Deborah Bright suggests a few ways to “turn off” your work-self at the end of the day. Before punching out, she suggests a series of tasks: First, finish your day with one small, accomplishable task (like a short phone call, signing a document, or responding to an email) that will give you something to cross off your day’s to-do list.
If you don’t have a small task at hand, create one by planning out tomorrow’s to-do list. Organizing for the next day, in order of importance, helps your work performance and “redirects” your stress, according to Bright.
Another good way to end the day is to straighten up your work area. It’s like the old saying, “a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” By that logic, a clean desk is the sign of a clean mind. Forbes also recommends tidying up at the end of the day because “nobody likes the feeling of walking into a mess” the next day.
Next, Bright suggests what she calls an “anchor quick charge.” This is something that signals the end of the work day, like locking a door, turning off your computer monitor, or calling home.
Once you’re home, there’s more you can do. Bright suggests starting off your home time on a positive note by asking family all the positive things that happened that day. Or, get some exercise, hang out with your pet (if you have one), do an art project (skill not required), have some tea, or just breath deep, as Huffington Post recommends.
Not only do these tasks require minimal time and effort, they can help you enrich your life and relationships both at work and at home. And that’s the biggest stress reducing benefit of them all.