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How To Stop Thinking About Your Business 24/7 As A Career Women

Written by: Linnea Etzler, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Check emails while helping your kids with their homework. Wake up at night worrying about that important customer meeting. Most of us think about work even when we’re not working but our brains need that time off from work to recharge and be at our best! Being able to switch off work-related thoughts is key to avoiding burnout and increasing wellbeing. In this article, I walk you through 10 strategies to stop thinking about your business 24/7 so that you can enjoy your well-deserved free time and start living a truly happy life!

1. Define clear guardrails around your work and stick to them


Your customers and co-workers would love you to be available 24/7. But that’s not sustainable. What’s a good compromise? At what time do you want to stop working each day? I don’t mean at what time you will leave your desk to get your kids, I mean at what time will you switch off mentally, not checking your phone for anything work-related. At times, your schedule may vary. If so, when is the latest you will decide the end-time for each day? Will it be the evening before or during your morning routine? Who will keep you accountable for sticking to the time you decided on e.g a colleague, your spouse, your children?


2. Create a work zone in your home (when you’re working from home)


When we work from home, we’re giving our brains a hard time distinguishing between work and free time. If you can, create a separate area for work. It can be just a corner of the living room. The less you can get reminded of your work when you’re supposed to be off, the better. If you’re a digital nomad this might be even harder. I had a client who covered her computer and printer with a blanket after each workday which is a great trick! Where in your home will you work, from now on? Commit to working only in this area and not on the sofa or by the kitchen table. Whenever possible make it an area that is clearly separated from spaces where you spend your free time. This helps your brain separate work from leisure.


3. Create transition rituals from work to free time


This might seem silly, but it works! Create a ritual for when you’ve finished your work day and are ready to do other activities. You might change your clothes, turn on music or change the lighting. If the end of your workday means that your kids come home this is usually a natural ritual, but you might want to take a few minutes in-between your work and when your family life starts. A quick walk or 2 minutes of silence are things some of my clients are practicing. How will you tell your brain that you are now in “non-work” mode? Will you change clothes or turn on the music?


4. Establish a morning routine and an evening routine


You heard this already. Having a morning routine is so beneficial for starting your day off energized. Ask yourself: How would I like to feel after my morning routine? Based on that, write down what you will include in it. It’s better to start small than to set a routine you will drop after 2 days e.g. “I will set my alarm 5 min earlier and journal” or “I will wake up 10 min earlier and take a quick walk.” An evening routine involves the things you do just before bed. Define at what time you will stop checking your phone. For great sleep, 2 hours before bedtime is optimal.


5. Find a project that isn’t work-related


Small kids are great at keeping your mind busy so that you don’t think about work. But if you don’t have toddlers at home: find a project that is not work-related! For the most part of the day, our minds are free to wander, and if our main focus is work, the mind wanders toward work, which is detrimental in the end. Having a hobby to focus on, even if just once a week is a great way to clear your mind from work. What hobby do you have that really distracts you from work? In a dream scenario, how often would you like to practice this hobby? Commit to doing a hobby that is not work-related at least once per week. Who could keep you accountable for this?


6. Understand your triggers


When you find yourself ruminating about work, make a note of the situation you’re in. Where you are? What time of day it is? Who’s around you? What did you do before this happened? Decide where you will take your “trigger notes”. Is it the notes app on your phone or do you carry a notebook in your handbag? Copy the above questions into that space and make it a habit to write down and understand your triggers!


7. Move your body 30 min per day


Moderately intense exercise reduces our rumination, improves sleep quality, and makes us happier overall. As little as 30 minutes per day has a great impact. In what way do you already move your body? If the answer is not at all, start small. A quick walk is better than nothing. Make a commitment to yourself e.g. I will take a 20 min fast walk during my lunch break, or I will do a 30 min exercise video every night. Write down your commitment and ask someone to keep you accountable for sticking to it!


8. Be present by doing whatever suits you: meditation, silence, or just breath


We’ve all heard that being present in the moment is good for us. Personally, I prefer breath work and silence to traditional meditation. Do you already meditate or would like to start? When during your day will you do it? If meditation is not your thing, why not commit to sitting in silence for 5 mins per day? Can you take a 20-sec break a couple of times per day for 3 deep breaths? Set your alarm clock and make sure it happens!


9. Journal to clear your thoughts


Putting pen to paper is shown to increase mental well-being. When during the day could you take 5 mins to write down your thoughts? Where will you write them? Will you get a notebook, use your phone or create a document on your computer? Go through your notes once a week and check for patterns. Getting to know your thought patterns is so powerful in taking control of all aspects of your life.


10. Schedule worry-time each day


If you tend to worry a lot, put 10 mins worry time on your calendar every day. That’s the time to worry and think about all the terrible worst-case scenarios that could happen. Can you do something about them? If so, write down “If X happens, I will do Y”. If you can’t influence and will do nothing, write “when X happens, I will do nothing”.


Do you have another strategy to add to this list? Contact me on LinkedIn or YouTube and I’ll be happy to include it in my future content on how to start enjoying your well-deserved free time!


Follow me on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Linnea Etzler, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

After dedicating 15+ years in the corporate world supporting leaders and teams in improving their productivity and managing change, Linnea Etzler now coaches high-performing women to become more productive and sustainably grow their businesses. Thanks to her analytical mind combined with a passion to understand people, she is highly successful in helping high-performing female entrepreneurs find ways to streamline their businesses and increase their performance so that they can focus on what really matters to them. Linnea Etzler is a Certified Coach; a Project Management Professional®️ holds an MSc in Engineering and a PhD in usability. She was born in Sweden, has lived in several European countries, and is currently based in Italy. This proud mom of two energetic boys coaches women in English, Italian and Swedish to help transform their lives as business owners into an enjoyable, successful, and fulfilling experience.


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