5 Tips for Leaving Work at the Office


Break the Electronic Chains

The first and most obvious step to breaking the shackles that are tying you to the office is to simply unchain yourself. Literally. People who are on call -- like, say, life-saving doctors -- obviously need to keep at least a pager handy, but for the rest of you: Turn it off. Whether it's a beeper or a cell phone, a smartphone or a laptop, unless they're actually paying you to be available 24/7, you're allowed to power down these various company-issued electronic nuisances. Instead, deal with any issues that arise during your private time when you're back at work and on company time.

It's incredibly easy to get sucked into the vortex. One quick peek at your work e-mail account, for example, can turn into a disaster. All of a sudden, some little problem that could just as easily be dealt with in the a.m., starts to loom like a doomsday crisis that you must single-handedly settle. But you have to make a choice: Do you want to sit there furiously pounding away at your keyboard until everything is resolved straight away, or do you want to live up to that promise you made to take your kids on a walk to the park?

Because honestly, kids remember that kind of thing. So, sure, maybe you'll get a little raise for all your hard after-hours work, but you'll probably just end up shelling it out later on expensive attempts to make it up to them, or worse, on therapy to cope with neglect issues. Instead, switch off the BlackBerry, break out the walking shoes and get ready to start pushing some swings.