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Creating Rituals for work & life balance

office_ergonomics Mar 04, 2021

Maintaining a work : life balance.   

Managing work, time & task requirements for productivity is necessary to get your work finished.  It's also important to  separate your work from your non-work life. A few simple strategies can help you to stay focused and avoid distractions.  


Creating 'rituals' is the best way to create new habits. 

Humans are creates of habit, and our habits are triggered by a complex web of our thoughts and environment.  Habits are behaviours or thoughts that are repeated until they become automatic for us. The act of logging out of your computer, saying goodbye to co-workers at the end of the workday, walking out the door or getting into your vehicle, taking the commute home (and what you do on that commute) are all routines and there may be triggers that allow us to begin this transition.  Creating a ritual for yourself can help you shift between work and home-life. The physical distance, time, and environment are now the same, so  you don't have those automatic environmental and commute time triggers.  This is even more important if you do not use a designated office space (ie. working from your kitchen table).  Since the environmental triggers of the office may currently be gone, you can replace those with some sensory triggers, since your mind and body are connected. Here's a few things you can try: 

  1. Breathing - whether at the start of your work or end, breathing for mindfulness can help you clear your head and mind and focus your intentions on the task ahead of you. Taking 5 deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling for 2x longer than you inhale helps you become self aware.   
  2. Physical sensory triggers such as consciously standing and shaking out your body, rubbing your thighs for 5-10 seconds, blinking the eyes rapidly for 10 seconds are all unusual movements to our sensory system, and when linked with the thoughts of transitioning away from one task to another they can become a new transition for you to leave the work where it is until tomorrow!
  3. Place a picture, your business or company's mission statement near your workspace.  Reviewing this at the start of your working time reminds you of why you are doing what you are doing, to help avoid the distractions of home life that may easily pull you away.
  4. At the end of the day, you can mentally focus on releasing any work stress hanging over you, and refill yourself with calm, peaceful thoughts or words.  There are many many you meditation or calming techniques you can find online.  



  • If you organize with a task list, you can review this at the start your day to help you switch into work mode and notice your time.
  • Keep your usual schedule.  Even if you have If you usually start work at 8:30am, continue the same time and task routine. This will help you stay on track and avoid disruptions and productivity. 
  • Just because you are at home doesn't mean you need to stay in your pyjamas all day!  Getting up, showered and putting on some work attire can set the tone for the day.  You might not need to put on make up and your best hairdo but most people feel better about themselves when they look respectable.  

Mindy Gulas, Registered Kinesiologist, Exercise Physiologist, Ergonomic Consultant

[email protected] 



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