For employees

Detachment from work-related issues during rest time

To live a quality life, it is necessary to establish clear boundaries between working time and time needed to rest. This is often easier said than done. You may repeatedly encounter situations in your professional life that may require you to work overtime. For example, when a specific deadline for the submission of works is approaching, or annual events and other non-routine things are organized. When working overtime becomes a universally accepted norm, it needs to be changed and your active participation in this process is crucial.  Below are some tips that may make the process easier.

How to draw the line between work and personal life:


  • Communicate clearly to your immediate superior and colleagues which tasks you can perform after your working hours (if any at all) and under what terms and conditions. You must make it clear that you respect your rest time and that the expectation that you can work overtime whenever needed should not be seen as a confirmation of your motivation and dedication to your organization.
  • Try not to answer any work calls, emails and other messages during your rest time.
  • Respect the rest time of your colleagues and do not call them or send them any messages after work.
  • If you have a flexible work schedule, inform your colleagues and executives about the hours during which you will be available.
  • Respect your lunch breaks and do not work during them. If you can, make sure to take a break from work, go for a walk, have lunch with a friend, read a book.
  • Learn to say no to work-related matters or tasks that require working overtime.

Disconnecting and detaching yourself from work-related issues during rest time is truly a challenge that few can manage to overcome without effort. When we are piled with work, thoughts about our job often follow us back to our home, disrupt our sleep, and keep on looping in our minds again and again Detaching from work and resting feels like too much of a luxury, even when we are fully aware that a well-rested mind enables one to take a step back and look at the piling tasks and problems anew.

How to forget about work when you are not working?

  • First and foremost, try to focus on the things you plan to do, and not the things you cannot do because you need to rest. Make a clear plan of what you want to do after work – begin working out, invite some friends over for dinner, engage in fun activities with the kids, sign up as a volunteer… When you plan activities that are unrelated to your work, you will naturally have other commitments that will distract you from any work-related issues and allow you to achieve good-quality rest.
  • If you are unable to clear your mind of work-related thoughts, writing them down in a notebook may prove helpful. Give yourself, for example, ten minutes to try to write down all the restless thoughts and concerns about your work. This can help you both clear your mind as well as relax. This is also a particularly effective technique to alleviate any anxiety related to certain work-related tasks.

You can also try another method of setting a specific time when you will deal with a specific problem or challenge. For example, if you have an important meeting on Tuesday that you are worried about, set aside two hours to prepare for it and stop thinking about it for the rest of the weekend.

  • Turn off your phone and computer. Disconnect from all work-related devices. You can also take advantage of your environment to fully detach from your work. For example, create a space at your home where you never work (this is especially handy if you work from home). It can be a separate room or a designated corner of your home. Use this space as a place to relax – read a book, do yoga, meditate, listen to music, or simply drink a cup of tea.
  • Ask your loved ones to help you detach yourself from work. For example, give them permission to remind you to put down your phone as soon as you pull it out to check for any work-related messages (and don’t be annoyed when they do so). Plan joint activities that will allow you to clear your mind from any work-related thoughts.