Transition Time: How to Separate Work & Home
In this day and age where “busy” is a badge of honour, we are scheduled up the wazoo and always on the go. Most people go from one thing to the next with little time for reflection, rest, or connection. What that means is that we are always in the mode of Get Shit Done,…
In this day and age where “busy” is a badge of honour, we are scheduled up the wazoo and always on the go.
Most people go from one thing to the next with little time for reflection, rest, or connection. What that means is that we are always in the mode of Get Shit Done, instead of Go With the Flow. This mode is super appropriate for results-oriented activities, and helps us to focus & achieve in our day-to-day.
What it doesn’t do, is facilitate connection between you and your lover.
I know I am a monster at times for sure. Sometimes my beloved Jimmy T gets home while I’m in the zone and it’s hard for me to tear myself away from what I am doing and focus on him. I say “hey, I’m in the zone, I’ll be halfer” and we kiss then he leaves me alone!
From a different perspective, there are days when I’m not really okay. I struggle with my energy levels which are inconsistent at best, and very low from time-to-time. On those days, when he gets home it can be tempting for me to immediately seek comfort from him, or ask for him to pick up tasks for me right away so I can rest.
And sometimes he comes in the door to the house where the doggo and I are totally chilled. And he brings the energy with him from his day: frustrated, stressed, pissed off.
A SMOOTH TRANSITION FROM WORK TO HOME
There is a super simple fix for this clash of energies: Transition Time.
What that means is that you BOTH take responsibility for shifting modes from daytime Get Shit Done to evening Go With the Flow. To smoothly transition from work to home, involve yourself in an activity that becomes a bridge from your individual days, to coming together as a couple.
Half an hour is a great amount of time to shoot for, but the main thing is that you do it. Even 15 minutes has a profound impact on your purposeful connection.
HOW TO TRANSITION FROM WORK TO HOME
Your optimal transition time will be different from person to person. Here are some of the things that my clients find effective:
- putting on some jazz & having a glass of wine
- have a bath
- watering the garden
- going for a run
- working out
- drinking tea & sitting quietly
- having a shower and changing clothes
- playing computer games or watching a show
- journalling about the day
- having a beer with a friend or colleague
The key to effectively transition from work life to home life is to do something that takes your mind from the jobs of the day. It should be something that helps you shift into an open frame of mind where you are available to connect & give to your partner.
You then come back to them with purpose & connect in a meaningful way.
A CLEAR MIND
The greatest challenge I find my clients have with the transition from work to home, is letting go of their day.
While the activity that you choose will be super helpful, it is also important to have a discipline around FINISHING your workday. In order to switch off Get Shit Done brain, you must be able to empty your mind.
Many of my clients find it valuable to write a list at the end of each day of what needs to be done the next day. It can also be useful to simply journal out all the floating thoughts in your head. And then identify what requires action and what you can allow to be released.
The State of the Nation meeting is also a really great way to manage some of the logistical stuff that we often blurt when we first come together.
HOT POTATO HAND OVER
The single greatest challenge I see with the transition from work to home is the hot potato hand over.
That is when one partner has been home all day with kids, pets, or something that still actively requires attention. Let’s be clear: raising children is a huge job that requires a village.
What usually happens is that someone gets home after Getting Shit Done, and is expected to immediately Get Even More Shit done at home.
I suggest that you manage this by having transition time BEFORE you get home. Go for a quick run, meditate, or otherwise makes themselves available before they walk in the door. Then when they get home, it is the first partner’s opportunity for some down-time before we launch into the evening round of Get Shit Done.
In this instance, consider giving that partner some down time too (where they can leave, or do whatever they want) before you come together.
The logistics of planning this are often a great source of tension for my clients. The thing is, when you get it right, it is absolutely magic.