Create a shut down routine [WFH Series]

Are you working from home? If so, then you need a shut down routine.

If you are accustomed to working from another location, then you (sort of) have a shut down routine already. At its most simple, the shut down routine is the act of you leaving that place for another place (home, restaurant, etc.). The act of leaving signals to your body and your brain that work is ending and it’s time to do something else. You transition.

When you are working from home, it’s easy to sidestep this transition. You roll out of bed and then you work off and on throughout the day until you roll back into bed. That’s a burnout waiting to happen.

Instead, create a shut down routine.

I do it by closing both laptops, disconnecting them from power, and storing them in my backpack. The desk I am working from has a power strip powering all the accessories and I, ceremoniously, flip that switch off each night. From that moment on, no more work happens.

A shut down routine is any set of prescribed actions that will signal to your body and brain that work is over.

The value of such a routine is to force clear borders on your day so other important things (like family or personal time) don’t get short changed.

Shut it down intentionally and enjoy more of your evenings.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on April 7, 2020

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