8 Ways to Forget About Work…and Have Fun!

Switching off from work is something many of us find difficult. We want the work-life balance but can find our minds are still consumed with thoughts of work when we are not there. Here are some tips to help you switch off:

1. Create a Ritual

Mark a line in the sand to signal the end of your work day. This is important whether you work from home or away. If you wear a uniform at work, you could change when you arrive home. Having a shower is another great way to wash the work day away. If you have an hour’s commute home you could decide that you will allow yourself time to ruminate over the day and upon arriving at home, you “switch” off. Find some way to delineate the work day from your leisure time.

2. Unplug

Unless it is part of your contract or job, get in the habit of unplugging from work when you are not there. You don’t have to be connected 24/7. Turn off your phone and laptop. We might think that being continuously available is what is expected of us, but often we are the ones who put these expectations on ourselves. If your boss or colleagues do expect you to be at the end of the phone or email outside work, set a new boundary around your home time. Explain what you are doing and how it will work and what you are willing to do, you don’t have to be inflexible. Be clear and assertive. Your actions could help change an unhealthy workplace habit.

3. Create Boundaries

Having friends at work can be a good way to enjoy your time at work and get on in your field, but at times it may be necessary to create boundaries and step back. If you are finding that all of your spare time is spent with people from work it could be time for a re-balance. It is great to get along with your peers but it will make it harder to switch off from work if all of your spare time is spent with them. You could put a night or two aside a week for socializing with workmates and ensure your other evenings are spent with people outside work, doing things unrelated to your job.

4. Create Exciting Plans

Having exciting things planned that you can look forward to outside work makes a big difference to your mindset. If you find it hard to switch off after work, sitting in front of the television all night or talking about how much you dislike your job won’t make things any better. Arrange to meet up with some friends or start a new hobby. Schedule time each week for these plans and make sure you are continually making enjoyable plans outside work.

5. Cultivate Healthy Habits

Cultivating healthy habits like exercise or meditation is a great way to enhance your ability to switch off from work (and other parts of your life if needed) and increase your overall sense of well-being. If you don’t currently exercise, have a look and see what you could do. Even a walk each day can make a huge difference to your ability to switch off — and your overall fitness. Do some research and find out what interests you.

6. Delegate

If you find it hard to ask for help, learn to let go and spread the workload. Trust other people to do a good job while you are not at work. If you are a manager or business owner, train someone in your team that you trust to take the reins when you are not there. If people are trusted and treated well, they will usually step up and impress.

7. Find Work That Fits

When I am doing work that fits and inspires me, I have less to switch off from; being at work becomes enjoyable. Yet when I have done work that isn’t “me” or that I enjoy, there seems to be more to get out of my system at the end of the day and more to unwind from. Find work that you enjoy and that suits you and you’ll have less to switch off from.

8. Work Less

If there is any way you can go part time and work less, it will help you to switch off and have more time for your own pursuits. Something as simple as working out how much you usually earn a day and seeing if you can save that amount elsewhere is a good place to start.  If you can find a way to save a day’s earnings per week, it could mean that you could ask to work a four day week without it having an impact on your finances.

How do you switch off from work?

(Photo by StockSnap / CC BY)

Popular search terms for this article:

how to switch off from work, how to forget about work, how to switch off after work, how to forget about work at home, switching off from work, jennifer smith work at home, how to forget work, forget about work, how to forget about work when you get home, how to get your mind off work

Jen Smith is a Life Coach and Mentor living in the UK. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.


  1. Faz on the 13th February

    Good ideas / reminders on this post. A couple of the ways that work for me to switch off from work:

    1. The moment I step into the car on the way home, I consciously wipe off the work hours. I reflect on those hours during the 10-floor elevator ride down. This helps me to focus on the top 1 thing to reflect on. Rather like using the 140char limit on twitter to help me focus on the key point.

    2. I make exciting plans for Monday evening. I’m very specific about this, because it helps me relax. It could be a book club meeting, dinner with friends or even a movie. It helps me to set a more positive tone for the week.

    Thanks and keep on keeping on.

    • Jen Smith on the 13th February

      Thanks Faz. You have some great ways to switch off from work there, thanks for sharing them. It sounds like you have a very powerful ritual for turning your mind off from work and I love the idea of exciting plans for a Monday evening – what a brilliant way to start the week!
      Thanks for sharing what works for you here.

  2. Simon Duck on the 13th February

    Some interesting ways to switch off. I have to say I find it very hard, even when you have a few moments of peace, I always find myself thinking of new ideas etc to try and build a better job. Although I think you have to think like that if you are trying to make money by yourself, if you miss out on a crucial idea, then you miss out on your next pay-check.

    But yes, switching off is very important, hence why we sleep! No, rest and relaxation will allow us to work harder the next time we get working.

    • Jen Smith on the 13th February

      Hi Simon

      I am glad you found these interesting.

      I think you’re right – being a freelancer or entrepreneur does require a different mindset but it is important to find a way to switch off as well. Everyone is different and I think it’s just about finding that right balance for yourself. Much of the time when I allow myself to switch off I come back rejuvenated and more productive too.



  3. Jeremy Campbell on the 13th February

    I like to go to my parent’s cottage where there’s no Internet! Working out helps me deal with stress, going to the movies is good for opening my mind, and the odd vacation is certainly nice to recharge on!

    • Jen Smith on the 14th February

      That sounds like a great idea Jeremy & you sound like you have a good list of things to choose from to unplug from work! 🙂

  4. Taz on the 13th February

    I decided yesterday that Sundays would be a ‘laptop free’ day and it was tough. I found myself wanting to turn it on about 10 times but by the end of the day I was quite content with relaxing. Definitely a rule I’ll stick to in future, it also makes sure I get any deadlines finished before then, ready for sending off on Monday.

    • Jen Smith on the 14th February

      Hi Taz,
      It’s tough to begin with isn’t it? I was the same… I felt like something was missing when I didn’t have my laptop on, but like you I have found I am able to relax now. I really appreciate my unplugged time now, it helps me feel more rejuvenated when I am “plugged in”! I like your idea of getting your deadlines met in advance too… I think working like that also helps to create a more calming environment.

    • angelee on the 14th February

      Sunday is family day for me, but there are really times when work stuff needs to be done during the day.

      Wonderful list above! The unplugging is a wise option especially during Sundays.

  5. Wasim Ismail on the 13th February

    Nice reminders, very important to have a good healthy balance, I think it’s more of a self discipline, and to switch off from work, when you’re at home and with family.

  6. Jen Smith on the 14th February

    Hi Wasim
    I think you’re right – self discipline is a cornerstone of creating that balance!

  7. Jen Smith on the 14th February

    I think it’s healthy to set family or leisure time aside like you so Angelee. I am glad you enjoyed this post. 🙂

  8. Eyes-Only on the 14th February

    I agree with all the steps to forget about work especially creating boundaries with the people you work with. It is good to get along with the people you work with and if you’re like me you actually have some true friends from work but others are just associates and being around them outside of work will make you feel like you’re at work all the time. I’m not fortunate enough to have a team that gets a long that well and I have this two-faced stalker that is always trying to get into my personal life so I definitely do not mix what I do at work with what I do outside of it.

    I know we’re all on this site because we love technology but sometimes it is best to take a vacation from it. I went on my first cruise last year and I felt like the world was lifted from my shoulders because I was not connected to anything. I have never felt so relieved of stress in my life and already have a cruise lined up this year.

    Another way I unwind is playing video games.

    • Jen Smith on the 15th February

      It sounds like having some boundaries around your work/life devide is really important for you. I too have met good friends through work, but like you there are some people I don’t want to hang out with and I think it’s good to be clear about that. Life’s too short!

      It’s great that your cruise got you in touch with the benefits of being unplugged. I think we are all so plugged in for much of our day that sometimes we need something like that – a complete break.


  9. Jennie on the 31st March

    You know a lot of people don’t really know the benefits of operating a blog. Or perhaps just how much work that goes into building a blog site. Honestly writing a blog is generally a ton of fun in addition to a good way to develop a brand or maybe internet business.

Add a Comment