In today’s digital world, it can be hard to disconnect at the end of the day. But checking those work emails and text messages after hours can lead to decreased productivity the next morning. New research from the National Institutes of Health shows that downtime at home is essential for performing well on the job. Here’s how you can find that balance: 

Plan ahead

Before the workweek starts, take the time to sit down on Sunday and come up with a schedule for the days ahead. Map out the time you’ll need to complete any pressing work tasks during the day, and then pencil in family activities and personal time during the evening. Having an actual written plan means you’re more likely to stick to it.

Create a ritual

If you have a difficult time transitioning from work to play, create a ritual to help mark the end of the business day. Doing something special as soon as you get home (like having a cup of tea, taking a soothing bath, or going for a run) can help you detach from work and slip into relaxation mode.

Do your chores

While folding laundry or washing dishes may not seem like the most relaxing things to do, taking care of your household tasks can help create a separation between work and home. “Nesting” activities, or tasks needed to replenish your personal resources, are proven to aid in relaxation and promote rest.

Get in some screen time

Step away from your computer screen and get in front of that telly–it’s not as bad for you as you think. Mindless activities like watching television or doodling in a coloring book can help give your mind the chance to do nothing and get out of go-mode.

Set boundaries

It might be tempting to say “yes” every time a new task comes your way (especially if you’re hoping for that big promotion), but taking on too much can be harmful to your work-life balance. When it comes to your well-being, you need to be strict. Let people know when you need “you” time, and stick to it.