Do you often wonder how you can turn yourself off after a busy day? Do you catch yourself thinking about your to-do list at the dinner table? Chances are it's time for a change. Because as humans we’re not meant to always be on, our brains need rest from the endless fight mode we’re in during the day.
Entrepreneurs have the tendency of thinking they always need to be busy and they should always think of their business. But that feeling is simply your body taking a run with you while you have zero control over the direction your thoughts take.
Today I’ll teach you how you can turn yourself ‘off’ and consequently, we’ll fix the guilt you feel when you’re not staying busy.
Dopamine is not your friend
What I see, especially with my clients, is that they wake up and they're ‘on’. One of the reasons this happens is because of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that releases in your brain making you feel good. Basically, it gives you a small jolt of energy whenever it releases.
Now what if I told you that phone usage is directly linked to dopamine? Specifically the notifications on your phone and by checking them, the dopamine releases. As soon as you put your phone away, you experience a let down which urges you to pick up your phone again and then it’s a cycle that never stops.
It’s someone you need to get a handle on if you want to learn how to turn off from time to time.
How to manage the dopamine hits from your phone
A lot of people choose to whip out their phone as a way of relaxing; it’s ridiculous. All of those stimuli do not result in you feeling relaxed. One of the quickest ways to teach yourself and your brain how to turn off after work is managing those dopamine hits from your phone. What concrete actions can you take to do so?
- Turn off your notifications
- Go to bed without your phone and buy an alarm clock instead
- Do not grab for your phone first thing in the morning
Your notifications could be compared to you still following your ex on Instagram.
Let’s just imagine: it’s a sunny day, you’re feeling great, you’re being productive and then suddenly BAM, you see your ex has a new girlfriend, BAM he bought her a ring, and DOUBLE BAM the ring is bigger than the one he gave you.
It’s a matter of seconds and suddenly you feel like shit while you were doing great before. If you’d have muted your ex, your day would have continued the way it was going.
In a nutshell: turn off your notifications because they only drag your energy down!
Implement context switches into your day
A context switch is something that helps you when you have to switch states of being.
Let’s say you just got home from work and you had a day where you had to be ‘the big bad boss’, when you get home, it’s no longer necessary for you to be in this state.
It’s crucial that you create a context switch for yourself, like:
- Changing your clothes
- Taking a shower
- Going for a walk
Otherwise you’ll bring that same dominant energy into your home and your partner does not need to treated like one of your employees.
How do you lower your parasympathetic nervous system?
Your parasympathetic nervous system is all about restful condition. Contrary to your sympathetic nervous system; this thrives when you’re in the fight mode during the day. But staying in that space at night will take away quality of sleep, it will mess up your digestive system, etc.
What activities can you do to lower your parasympathetic nervous system?
- Having a bath
- Breathing Exercises
- Hugging people
Imagine you’re a little baby
You went to the office all day; people were asking you questions, you answered emails so you’re still on when you get home. You could compare it to when, as a toddler, you went to a birthday party; you ate sugary foods, you jumped on the bouncy house and your energy is as high as can be.
What will your mom do when you get home? She probably won’t put on loud music and make you hop around the living room. No, she will try to soothe you by bathing you and putting on some pajamas.
Like children, we also need a nighttime routine. You should implement some routines that will help you relax and come down from your work high.
Give everything a spot
Do you feel as if, at night, your mind won’t shut up about groceries, to do’s and general things you can’t forget? It’s because you haven’t given it a spot. If your brain feels scattered you’ll never learn to turn yourself off.
It’s like creating a space for your keys: if you don’t create it, you’ll constantly be thinking ‘where are my keys?’.
The same thing happens to your tasks, ideas and to do’s. Implement a good task management to avoid feeling as if your brain is too cluttered.
Implement change to turn yourself off at the end of your day
To recap: if you don’t implement the proper changes and tactics, you’ll never be able to turn yourself off at the end of a busy work day.
Which things could you start doing today?
- Manage the dopamine hits from your phone
- Create context switches for yourself
- Learn to lower your parasympathetic nervous system
- Create some structure inside your brain
To help you succeed, I’m offering you my Energy Management worksheet for free. You can print it out and it allows you to reflect on your days by asking yourself a couple of questions.
I want to invite you to use this for five days during your next work week. You'll also learn what you need to improve within your days so that you get to turn off more and you're gonna feel less stressed in your business. Grab it for free through: fastforwardamy.com/energymanagement
PS Be a little easier on yourself. You’re doing amazing and you are more than worthy — never doubt that.