The first step is admitting you’re a workaholic. Once you own that, you’re ready to reform. Start with these strategies:
1. Prioritize your tasks.
If you feel overwhelmed by the scope of your responsibilities at work, take a step back and identify those of greater and less importance. Tackle the most crucial tasks first so you’ll feel a genuine sense of accomplishment even if you can’t get to everything on your list. Leaving the less significant stuff until tomorrow won’t weigh on you as much when you leave the office as failing to accomplish the big stuff would.
2. Be the early bird.
Most of us are more focused and better at staying on task in the morning than we are later in the day. Getting an early start and being as productive as possible before lunch will give you the confidence boost you need to get you through the afternoon and go home feeling accomplished.
3. Take breaks.
Studies have shown that we’re far more productive at work when we take regular breaks. Give your body and brain a rest and a chance to renew by stepping outside for a few minutes, exercising, savoring a healthy snack, doing something you enjoy or at least walking down the hall for a quick chat with a colleague.
4. Engage in extracurricular activities.
If you find something you’re passionate about outside of the office, you’ll be less likely to bring your work home. It could be anything—gardening, cooking, music, sports, making model airplanes—but whatever it is, make sure it’s a release from daily stress rather than yet another thing to obsess about.
5. Go off the grid.
Choose specific times of the day to unplug completely (during dinner would be a great start). Turn off your phone (or at least the ringer), put the computer to sleep and unplug any other electronic gadgets. While you’re at it, designate tech-free zones throughout your home that you can escape to when you’re feeling overwhelmed by work.