BLUECASE in Forbes: How To Make The Most Of Your Personal Time After Hours

October 04, 2017

Originally published on Forbes.com on October 4, 2017.


Transitioning from the workday to your personal life takes some practice. When you arrive home from work, it can be difficult to shut off for the day and focus on your personal responsibilities. As many as 87% of people say they feel overworked, according to a report by Advise America, and only 42.1% say they have a good work-life balance.

Finding that rhythm to your day may be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to regroup and refocus. This can allow you to make the most of our personal time and get you ready for the upcoming week in a more productive way.

Eleven members of Forbes Coaches Council share that one thing that every professional should do as soon as they get home from work to unwind, but also to make the most of the following day and rest of the week.

Forbes: How To Make The Most Of Your Personal Time After Hours
All images courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

1. Develop A Mindful Transition Tradition

Transitioning mindfully from work to life each day allows us to reflect, prepare and release. Reflect on the highlights, lowlights and learnings. Prepare tomorrow's priorities. Release what has happened in order to embrace what is before you. Exercise, meditation, dog-walking, journaling, or making a to-do list can all be transitions. Take the time to develop your own best practice. - Tonyalynne Wildhaber, The Courage Practice

2. Put On Your Play Clothes

When you were a kid, did you do this? Do you remember "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?" I do. Think of the excitement and change of pace that changing clothes and getting in your "play clothes" represented. What can it represent for you now? By doing this you symbolically and physically move into a new psychological, fun dynamic. Don't drag your work home. Make a change. Change your clothes! - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.

3. Reflect On The Day

Check in with your energy, do you feel depleted or energized? From that, you can further break down what went well or didn't go well with your day and any lessons learned. Oftentimes, we forget that our energy or lack of determines how we show up. Introverts can recharge with quiet time, while extroverts can ensure a day at the office doesn't leave them with cabin fever by going out and socializing to recharge. - Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC

4. Practice Gratitude And Appreciation

I take one minute to revisit the day and reflect on a situation/opportunity for which I feel grateful. If one comes to mind, I explore how I could take it to the next day. If none comes to mind, I ask myself what I could do to experience gratitude the next day. Then I reflect on team members to identify one who took an action that I appreciated, and consider how I can recognize it the next day. - Valerio Pascotto, IGEOS

5. Take A Mental Break

Face it, we all need a break from work at some point. As much as it may help to plan ahead and anticipate the following days, taking some well-deserved "me" time is important too. A mental reset can lower stress and make it easier to tackle work again at a later time with refreshed thinking. Avoid burnout by scheduling time at the end of your work day for yourself. You deserve it. - Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions

6. Shut Things Down

Shut down the computer. Spend time with family and friends. Prioritize well-being. Just because it feels productive to keep working, it's not. Overwork is obsessive and rote. Creativity comes from a relaxed, vibrant mind. The obsession with getting things done is accompanied by anxiety. Rest when it's time to rest, you'll be a lot more on point when it's time to show up as a leader. - David Butlein, Ph.D., BLUECASE Strategic Partners

7. Revitalize And Recoup

Throughout the day, you give so much of yourself that you lose fibers of who you are. During this time, you experience so many events that are possibly life-changing, you can forget them if you don't write them down. So revitalize yourself by unwinding, and recoup those experiences by expressing yourself in your journal. That type of R&R is what professionals truly need. - Dawn Ferguson, TiesBowtiesLipstick, LLC

8. Get Outside And Play

Head outside to refresh, renew and reflect. Re-energizing with nature will fill your basket with goodness and exercise, and foster well-being. Borrow a neighbor's dog, ride a bike, read, garden or swim. What you do isn't as important as long as you feel yourself smiling, enjoying yourself and bringing back your equilibrium. - Gayle Draper, Intentional Careers and Human Resources

9. Plan, Reflect, Unplug, Relax

The first thing you can do is write down all those to-do items you have swirling in your mind so you can get them out of your head. Next, reflect on the day and write down at least three things you're grateful for and any lessons learned (stopping the cycle of replay and regret). Then unplug from anything work-related so you can mindfully relax, recharge and enjoy the rest of the evening. - Sharissa Sebastian, Sharissa Sebastian - Life & Leadership Coaching

10. Be Self-Aware

Everyone is different. How each person unwinds and recharges is different too. Being self-aware is crucial. Know what gives you energy and what drains your energy. No matter if you re-energize by taking a walk with your dog, getting into your comfies with hot tea or making a list of what to do tomorrow, do that thing that energizes you and gives you restoration. - Michelle Braden, MSBCoach, LLC

11. Plan Your Next Day

The subconscious mind cannot let go completely and relax as long as it is concerned about the future. Waking up already knowing your outcomes for the day and your priorities will give you heightened levels of confidence, efficiency and productivity. Plan your next day -- preferably as the last thing you do before leaving work -- and you will unlock new levels of joy in your personal life. - Mehrdad Moayedzadeh, Life Is Important