A common issue among careerists is knowing when to stop, especially among the next generation of professionals. Passion strikes so fervently, it leaves one to wonder… When do you turn it off? And how? Early in our careers, should we be striking a balance? Or should we be going at our careers full-force? Brazen member […]
A common issue among careerists is knowing when to stop, especially among the next generation of professionals. Passion strikes so fervently, it leaves one to wonder… When do you turn it off? And how? Early in our careers, should we be striking a balance? Or should we be going at our careers full-force?
Brazen member recently related the following:
I have a problem letting go of my thoughts after the work day is over and I should be devoting time to my personal life, mainly my girlfriend. I have such an urge to write and put my thoughts down on paper. It’s just hard for me to let it go until the next day.
Can you relate? Turns out, a lot of us can. Here are the top suggestions from the Brazen Community in response:
On the way home, “toss it out”
Establish a pattern of “letting go” of your work, whether if it’s through notes or exercise. Another good way I’ve heard of is to pick a certain spot on your drive home and imagine “tossing out” all of your work worries onto that spot. Either way, try to consistently get rid of your work worries in a certain place!
Practical advice: on the way home try to evaluate the happenings of the day briefly first, but during the second half concentrate on your girlfriend etc., try to find out programs for the evening. Reaching home focusing on the words of your girlfriend, probably she needs help related to her matters.
For use on particularly tough days is the half-way point, or ‘dumping ground.’ What I mean by that is allocating 45 mins in a coffee shop halfway home with the company of a journal. I time it, dump my thoughts, and admit to myself that anything not worth remembering in those 45 mins of focused switch-off time isn’t worth remembering until the next day (that is the hard part).
Evaluate your situation
I also have trouble with this. You didn’t mention whether you like your job but maybe the reason you are holding onto thoughts has something to do with an unresolved issue in the workplace. I know right now our jobs are less likely to change than our attitudes about them, but perhaps there are some things you can work out in the workplace that are keeping you from relaxing personally.
Make your girlfriend an ally
Give yourself the gift of an ally. Explain the need for some extra time here and there to your partner to get the writing in. Chances are she will appreciate your effort and will understand when there’s something that cannot wait for the following day. This will help you stick to your schedule better because she will become part of your day’s schedule – the goal at the end of it!
I think I’m lucky I found a significant other who is as devoted to work as I am, so we understand each other and neither feels neglected when one person gets particularly wrapped up in a project.
I find [cooking] to be a focused, simple task that has a defined outcome. If I’ve spent all day thinking or absorbing information, cooking helps me remind myself that I am happiest accomplishing things rather than just thinking about them. Do you have a task that might engage you in a similar way?
I think that cooking is a great way to connect to the present moment. I particularly love to grill out. The aromas coming off the grilling food, and the fresh air kind of kick me into a more mindful zone. I find it’s easier to let me thoughts flow freely when grilling. I enjoy my thoughts rather than getting stuck in them. Drafting thoughts and coming back to them also let them percolate and develop more fully.
Speak it, write it, get ‘er down
I’ve began keeping notebooks around. Also, I turn off the main lights in my house. I also joined a gym so I can work off steam and relax my tense muscles. I work in customer service, so I understand how hard it is to let go of the day
I get my thoughts out of my head and down on paper (or Google Docs 😉 ). Realistically, your brain operates on a reward model i.e. until you do “something” your mind will fret over it. Getting your thoughts down on paper (hopefully) gets them out of your head and lets you focus on other things.
If you have thoughts that need expressing but don’t have the time to write them out, try a digital recorder. We can speak our thoughts much faster than handwriting or typing them out. You could try recording them on your way home from work – that helps you let them go, and they don’t have to interfere with your personal life. Be sure to state the date/time at the beginning of the recording if you want to go back later and transcribe them. Good luck! It has been a lifesaver for me.
Detach those cords
The only way I can really detach is to *literally* detach myself from whatever electronic devices I have. There’s no casually checking my iPhone or logging on to my laptop for a few minutes. I punch down my best ideas as drafts on my WordPress site and if I don’t have time for them right away, I come back to them the next day.
Do as the smart ones do
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Emerson
Have a suggestion to add? Let us know in the comments. And find this conversation and more in the following networks: and .