1. Keep your bedroom free from work-related distractions and to-dos.
Can you see your briefcase or laptop from your bed? Those things could invite you to think about something else you need to be doing instead of the person you’re with. Keep these things out of your bedroom or at least out of sight when you’re not in work mode. If there are small undone tasks that constantly demand your attention (like something that hasn’t been put away or a light bulb that needs to be changed), determine what they are and schedule a time (soon!) to do them.
2. Foster relaxation in your den or living room.
If you have bills or mail you can see from your sofa, they can pull at you and keep you from enjoying yourself. If your living room is your only place to do paperwork, keep your papers in a box or a desk that can close. Even a curtain hiding a desk or corner of the room can create an instant feeling of “Ahhh.” Dirty dishes and clutter can also distract us. Keep these things out of sight so your living room is all about fun and connecting with people you love.
3. Create a designated place for chores and work.
If your mail, bills, and work projects are all in one place, you can easily turn away from them or shut them out when you’re ready to have fun. Keeping this place organized will help you feel calm and ready to tackle the next duty when the time comes.
4. Schedule a specific time for chores, projects and work.
If you’ve got Saturday afternoon slotted to clean out the refrigerator, you can relax until then, knowing this task will definitely get done instead of hanging over you every time you walk into the kitchen. Set aside time to unwind, too, and commit to taking time off from everything else.
5. Go easy on yourself and set realistic goals.
We all need plenty of play time, and telling ourselves we have to knock out everything on our to-do list in one weekend is a recipe for feeling bummed. Be realistic about the time you have and what you can accomplish in that time. If you get that one pesky task done, you can celebrate your victory and reward yourself.
Even small changes can make a big difference. Clearing that cobweb in the corner of my bedroom took just a few seconds, but I feel relief every time I lie in bed and see it’s gone. Determine what small things in your space are dragging you down, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can feel better and be swept up in the moment.