We have the beginnings of a trend in the findings from our GLWS® respondents to date – senior leaders typically have really strong, authentic relationships outside of work and these are enhancing their wellbeing overall. Great news – its wonderful to have the support of people you love. However, almost all respondents are also telling us:

‘My partner/family would say I’m still in ‘work mode’ when I get home’

That begs the question, how long will the ‘outside-work’ relationships remain strong and positive? What risks are senior leaders taking by failing to ‘switch off’ from work and be truly present with their loved ones?

Dr Adam Fraser talks about the need for us all to create and occupy a ‘Third Space’ – a moment of transition between one task and the next, or one role and the next. He says,

“The new competitive advantage in business and life is the ability to transition rapidly, to be resilient and get over what you’ve just been through and then show up with the right thoughts, emotions and behaviours that get the most out of what is coming next”*

If you need to work on your ‘third space’, consider these simple strategies to help:

  • Before you leave work, make a list of priorities for the next day and leave it at work
  • Turn off your mobile/email when you leave work
  • Leave your mobile device in your car, or in a place at home where you won’t be tempted to pick it up again till morning
  • Make some rules for yourself about looking at work emails or taking calls after hours and stick to them
  • Change clothes when you come home; shed your work identity with your clothing
  • Use some of your travel time to disengage from work by reading, listening to the radio or listening to music
  • Plan short, fun activities for after work (take a walk, go for a swim, play with the kids)
  • Think ahead about what to ask your family/partner about their day, tune into their lives and leave your work problems behind
  • Plan how you want to show up when you cross over the doorstep into your home, and don’t do this until you can be how you want to be i.e. don’t walk through the door whilst still on the phone, texting, checking emails or mulling over a work issue
  • Plan and engage in some relaxation for yourself before bedtime (not computer based) and ideally not even screen based (if TV or movie make a selection that is conducive to relaxation, avoid watching troubling documentaries, scary movies or upsetting dramas). Mind your mind, look after yourself.

* http://www.thethirdspace.com.au