Looking back on my "younger years," I can also see many differences in my attitude towards work. One of the big shifts is how much time I spend thinking about work when I'm not at work.
Over the years I have been able to re-train myself to eliminate work thoughts when I'm off the clock. I have found that this has improved my home life, reduced the feeling of dreading Mondays, and led to a better career experience overall.
I'd love to outline a laundry list of how-to tips, but, quite frankly, it comes down to a simple action: STOP.
When you find your thoughts gravitating toward work, or you catch yourself blathering on about last week's office events--tell yourself to cut it out. Even if you enjoy what you do and see great benefit in thinking or talking about it on "your" time, there is something to be said for compartmentalizing your work/home endeavors.
1) You'll come back refreshed.
2) Time heals all (work) wounds.
3) You won't bore your family and friends with tired tales about people they don't know.
4) It limits obsessive thoughts and thinking for others.
5) You'll better enjoy home and work. Or, at the very least, if one stinks, it won't as quickly leak into the other.
Now, it is possible to take things too far. You do want to avoid never thinking about work at home. There will be situations where you'll need to seek advice and counsel from family and friends. Not to mention, there will be dilemmas and circumstances which will require immediate attention, and avoiding them just because you are not at the office could have negative consequences. The solution? Perhaps consider setting aside a block of time to deal with work issues on personal time. For example, take an hour on Saturday mornings to address any necessary issues. After that, put it to rest--no matter how much it's irking you.
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouraged—not only about his own career, but also about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter Jobacle, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.