How to disconnect from the office if you’re a work addict

Weaning off work can be extremely difficult for some. Here are three tips to make it easier

Most of us know there are benefits to getting away from work. We know we need time to recharge and that if we work too many long days in a row, we’ll find ourselves not accomplishing much. And yet, disconnecting can be an extremely hard thing to do.

Here are some tips to wean yourself off work:

Focus on what you’ll do instead

Create a plan for your time away from work – whether it is an evening out of the office or time on vacation. Have a plan to occupy your mind at the ready in case intrusive thoughts about work threaten to interrupt you: read a novel, do a crossword puzzle or phone a friend.

Change your environment

Set healthier work-life boundaries by turning off your devices. Set up a space at home that you will never use to work. Put a chair there and use it as a place where you will engage in activities you enjoy.


The more you associate this spot with things that do not involve work, the easier it will be to use this area to get away from the office.

Step away – and watch disaster not strike

Disconnecting from work for a period of time can be anxiety-provoking: you might miss an important email or something could go wrong. A way to reduce anxiety is to expose yourself to that scary situation.

If your problem is that you’re constantly worried about missing an important email, go a weekend without checking your inbox. You may find that many people manage to answer their own questions if you don’t get back to them right away.

Copyright Harvard Business Review 2017