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  • Dan Tristan Reyes

How To Switch Off Job Stress At Home And Why A VA Can Make That Easier To Do

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Most of us struggle with thinking about work when we are at home, hanging out with friends after work hours, or spending time with our families on the weekends. In today’s time, where working from home has become the norm, more and more people are having a hard time switching off work, we just can’t seem to stop ourselves from thinking about work even after the workday has ended. 50% of workers bring their work home, causing interference in their personal and work life

(HBR, 2016) “An ‘always-on’ culture with high expectations to monitor and respond to emails during non-work time may prevent employees from ever fully disengaging from work, leading to chronic stress and emotional exhaustion,”

(The Academy Of Management Study)

With the advent of technology, and smartphones, we now have the ability to carry our work with us virtually, everywhere we go. Some might think that is convenient (and at times it really is), but that doesn’t mean that it does not carry some pretty significant disadvantages.

A Lot Of The Stress Does Not Happen At Work

When we are at work, we are hands-on, working on our daily tasks to help us get through the day. People are so busy that they even sometimes forget to eat! Ironically enough, we can also be so busy that we don’t have the time to even feel stressed! The real stress happens on your commute going to and from your office (or your walk from your bedroom to your home office) when you are lying awake at night after the workday. You may even end up feeling this stress when you are at the dinner table with your family, at your local cafe with your friends, or while you are on that vacation you’ve been planning for months now. How Do We Counter The Effects Of Work Stress?

Acknowledge It

The first thing to do is to acknowledge the fact that we are stressed. Lying to ourselves that we aren’t, telling ourselves “No I am 100% present and my mind is not drifting to my office”, essentially, sweeping our stress under the rug is not going to help us in the long run. It will only cause a build-up under that metaphorical rug until one day, we just might find ourselves drowning in it. So the first step is to acknowledge work stress is a reality in our lives and is something that we should make effort into coping with.

Be Mindful

The next thing we should do is to be mindful of ourselves. In fact, a lot of the time, we don’t even realize that we are thinking about work during our off hours. Put systems into place to catch yourself in these times. Put certain guardrails up. This can look like, turning off your email notifications after hours, saving those “small tasks” or “easy enough to do tasks” for the morning, the key here is, consciously decide to refrain from doing work-related tasks once your work hours end. Define Your Work Hours And Be Strict With Them

Set a time for yourself to work and stick to it no matter what. This is definitely something that is very important if you are an entrepreneur. If you say that you are working from 9 am to 5 pm, then you should be wrapping up before 5 pm comes and be off your computer on the dot. Plan out your schedule around that time, book your meetings within that window, and plan out your work window to the detail. Not only will this help you be more productive in that time frame but it will also help you not take work home since you planned everything out and set out to finish your priorities within the said time period. Physically Make The Switch

This is extremely important if you work at home, or work remotely. Sometimes, your office and your bedroom might even be the same room! How can you escape the grind that way? Well, the answer might be simpler than you think. What I personally do is change my hoodie. (Wait what?) When I am working, I wear my black hoodie, and when it’s time to switch off and jump into “home” mode, I switch to my blue hoodie. Wait a minute, how can changing your clothes make so much difference? Well, there are actually studies that back this up. Changing your clothes, putting on a certain song, drinking something sweet, turning on your favorite show, these are all physical cues to your brain that signal it that it is the end of the workday. The brain is easy enough to trick so if making a mental shift is challenging, reinforce it by creating physical cues to signal the end of the workday.

How A VA Can Help You With Work Stress

A big part of the work stress is actually in part due to the build-up of small admin tasks that we essentially spend hours on every day, apart from the stress that is brought about by high-pressure, high-impact decisions that you have to do. Hiring a VA can help take off the significant stress that your day-to-day tasks bring you. Here at Transcend, our goal is to work smart and effectively, and that extends to you as well. We want to help you take back your life and your business by taking care of your day-to-day so that you can focus on the more significant decisions and actions needed to grow your business. Maximize your productivity all without working for longer hours, and have more time for the things that really matter.

Conclusion Work stress is a well-studied subject and there are plenty of studies and statistics out there, that we can’t go over everything in just one article but the point is, the battle against work stress is not a losing one, there are steps we can take, systems we can put in place to help us manage and cope better with work stress. Acknowledge it, be mindful, respect your time, create physical cues, and delegate your smaller tasks when you can.

#stress #mentalhealth #workingfromhome #stressmanagement #mindfulness #virtualassistants #remotework

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