We’ve all been there. You still find yourself sending work emails and answering Slack notifications after the work day ends. Transitioning from professional matters to personal life can be difficult. Finding time to spend with friends, family, or even yourself, can feel impossible. Although work doesn’t seem to stop, you can set boundaries that allow you to decompress after work hours. Here’s how to create an evening routine for after work.

Silence Notifications or Turn off Your Phone After Work

If your phone pings constantly, diving back into work mode can be tempting. Instead, set your phone to “Do Not Disturb.” You can set your email, Slack, and Asana notifications to begin and end during work hours. Or keep it simple and turn your phone off after hours. Tuck it away in your desk and eliminate any temptation to check your phone after dark.

Give Yourself a “Shut Down” Period After Work

Another way to disconnect from work is to give yourself a 30 to 45 minute shut down period. Similar to how you start your day with a morning coffee, newspaper, and review your emails. Create a shut down ritual to decompress and wind down from work. Before shutting down, create a list of priorities for the next day and close out any existing tasks. 

Change Your Scenery After Work

A great way to disconnect from work is by changing your environment. Even if you work from home, take time away from your desk and go outside for a walk or for a drive. Prepare a meal or spend time with friends. Changing your environment will help you mentally disconnect from work and create physical distance from your list of to do’s.

Change From Your Work Clothes

Another way to physically disconnect from work is to change your outfit. Take off that professional work attire and swap it for a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. Changing will help you mentally disconnect from work.

Figure Out Why

Ultimately, setting boundaries is about protecting your time and energy to do things that are important to you. Perhaps you want to make time to pick up your kids from school or having dinner as a family every night. Your non-negotiables are key to setting boundaries between the personal and professional.