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How to Leave Work at Work

How to Leave Work at Work
We get lots of email at Dumb Little Man but this one really hit me because I tend to get in this rut too. Jay- I love the site but I have a question (if you don't have time, don't worry about it). You mentioned that you are a work-a-holic and so am I.


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Change your route

Change your route

If you have a bad or overly stressful day at work, take the long way home.

  • First half of your journey: turn the radio off and think about what you have to accomplish at work and how you will execute. 
  • Second half of the journey turn on whatever music you like, talk radio and begin the process of thinking about things outside of work. 






Once you get home after work, give yourself a 15-minute window to let it out.

You should set this up in advance with your partner/family members/ friends but leave the time limit at 15 minutes. During that time, they have to simply listen and let you get it out. After that, you must agree that work is over.



Keep electronics off

Keep electronics off

If you don’t need to work, keep the electronics off. Don’t login just because you are curious. You will find reasons to email people or start completing tasks.

Occasionally we all have to work at night or on the weekends. The key here is to set an expectation when honestly important projects arise.



Questions first

Questions first

When you get home, immediately ask how your partner's day went and listen.

Many times their response is enough to get you to think of family tasks and break you away from work. In addition, you will probably earn some points for engaging them in the conversation. 




Your workplace will survive without you.

Remember this as you choose where to spend time. If it is after hours and you haven’t turned off your phone, you have to resist the urge to get involved in something that isn’t really ultra-critical.






Motivation is not a switch. Motivation is a flow. 

If you can create a self sustaining motivation engine, you’ll not only be able to find more meaning and purpose in your life, bu...

Motivation Engine in 3 parts

  1. Core. Your purpose. It is sustained by two things: Having Meaning, and Forward Movement.
  2. Support. What enables your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build.
  3. Surface. Any type of external recognition that might give you motivation.

An Unbalanced Life

We live in a culture where work demands our complete allegiance. At the same time, it can be extremely enriching. You feel challenged by your work, you're attached to it, you're learning new things...

Redefine Success

Reconsider how you define success. Workaholics are always aiming to get ahead. But you also need to draw a boundary line that shows respect for your family life, and your physical and spiritual well-being.

Refocus Your Attention

After you have redefined success, consider how you want to invest your time and energy. 

There will always be more work to be done, but make a choice to spend your time elsewhere: with family, friends, or in your community. And when you spend time with your family or friends, do so with undivided attention.

5 more ideas

Jerry Seinfeld

“I think money is great. But physical and mental energy is the greatest riches of human life.”

Jerry Seinfeld

Personal Energy

Energy is everything. It goes beyond status, power, and money. Personal Energy is difficult to measure, as our energy levels vary.

There are 3 types of energy:

  1. Mental Energy: It is your ability to concentrate, pay attention and focus.
  2. Physical Energy: Ability to perform physical tasks
  3. Emotional Energy: Ability to feel compassion.

Managing Personal Energy

  • Mindfulness meditation is an excellent tool to improve our focus and awareness. We can enhance our mental energy by integrating our mind through meditation, instead of getting lost in scattered thoughts.
  • Physical energy can be enhanced with regular exercise, no matter what kind. 
  • Emotional energy is intensified by human interaction. Meeting new people and spending time with people with no particular agenda is a great way to stay positive and improve your energy levels.