If you’re more comfortable wearing non work pants, change into them as soon as you get home.
Before I leave work for the day I try and have a plan in mind for what I will do when I get home. This helps me make good use of my time, especially because I’m usually hungry when I get home. And trying to make a decision when I’m hungry is futile. Deciding what to do in my afternoon and evening before I leave work also helps me resist the temptation to simply sit and be idle. Much of what I do when I get home revolves around a routine to transition from the repetitive nature of the work I do to the inspiring creation of new things.
Step one I when I get home is usually to change my pants. Or my socks. Or both. It is a small thing, that might seem so small as to be insignificant, but it is a physical action for my mind to acknowledge I am no longer in ‘work mode’. On days I play sport this is easier because my work clothes are not appropriate for me to play sport in. On days I do not play sport, the first thing I do after getting changed is a set of press-ups and a short yoga routine. Again, these activities are more difficult in work clothes so it encourages me to change. These actions are all ways to mentally separate my work day from what I do outside of work.
The thing that helps me the most is to do these things unrelated to work as soon as I can after getting home. If I haven’t organised exactly what I’ll do first, in my mind there is a high probability I will succumb to analysis paralysis. I will know I should be doing… something. But I am unable to clear the fog in my brain to know what it should be. Even having in mind that I am going to do something as mundane as, ‘water the plants’, or as achievable, as ‘do twenty five press-ups’ helps me focus. Because I have set and completed a task I can move forward with the rest of my day. Build the motivation by making the choice to be motivated whenever possible. The drive to work hard is not a magic bullet that will hit us one day. It is a work ethnic we cultivate by working intelligently hard.
Some days I don’t do these helpful things. I get home and am too tired from the day to engage my brain on these tasks the moment I get home. This is ok. The challenges we face every day are different so we must adapt to them as we realise what they are. I know on these days I have to adjust my expectations. A nap to recover, or watching a football game free of guilt to rest are fine choices when required. What I must not do is fall into the cycle of doing these things every day, for the entirety of my time outside of work hours. My creative side won’t rest, and if I don’t engage it by writing, or making music, or working through a collaborative project with someone, my spirit will let me know about it.
I am a follower of Jesus. My faith guides me to know when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to work. I pray for the strength to make the decisions I know are best. However, it is still up to me to make the choice, with the key difference at times being whether I listen to the answer God is giving me or not. Regardless of your faith, whether you currently follow God, a Sabbath is necessary. No one can work effectively 100% of the time. Rest helps us have the energy to give our best to everything we do.
I guess this post has been me saying, in quite a few different ways, make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish at any given time. Changing my pants when I get home from work helps me explicitly differentiate work time from writing time.
What is it time for in your life?
Keep on keeping on being awesome. Peace.