One of the common challenges I hear from the leaders I support is the ability of the inability to turn off “work brain” in the evening hours, on the weekend, those moments when you would really prefer not to be thinking about your career.
There are obvious, clear setbacks to this issue including, so long as those work programs are running in your brain, there is also often a low level of stress and/or anxiety running in your body. Dividing your focus also tends to make you less present for your partner or your children, whoever else you would like to be giving your attention to at that moment. Now the good news is your brain absolutely possesses the ability to take greater control over this issue and if it’s something that your struggle with regularly I’m going to suggest a 2 step approach for you.
Step number 1, when you notice you’re thinking about work and you don’t want to be, first close ut that meeting. Grab your phone and make a note, send yourself a reminder, whatever type of follow-up tasks you need to do to wrap up that meeting, take a second to do it.
Then step number 2, close the door. Think of “work brain” as a very messy closet in your home. You need to be able to close the door, walk away, and not look at those items at will and when you choose. The secret to doing this is to make a conscious choice at that moment. Do I want to continue working right now or not? If the answer is no, close the door to the closet. Tell your brain “that’s it, we’re done, we’re not thinking about work for the rest of the day.” Then shift your focus to something more enjoyable.
For more stress management strategies, feel free to find me here.