At the end of the work day, it’s difficult to push the off button.  And, sometimes, there’s nothing you can really do about it; you have no choice but to finish a project at home, speak to a patient afterhours or bring new goals to life while you’re in the middle of primetime television.

But, many times, we let that door revolve at its own leisure—more than it should, more than it has to and more than we’d like it to.  So, while it may be impossible to make a wall out of this door, here are three simple ideas to make it slightly more difficult to open that door.

One Hour Reminder

It’s almost like we’re tangled to our work.  We’re constantly going, going, going and we’re involved in a million and one different activities, tasks and obligations simultaneously.  It’s no wonder we can’t untie the knot when we’re ready to punch out for the day.

An interesting way to offset this barrier is by setting yourself a few alarms.  Depending on your work load, this may differ, but here’s the idea:

  1. Hoping to get out of the office by 5 today? Set an alarm for 4, 4:30, 4:45 and 5.
  2. When your first alarm goes off at 4, start wrapping up any major projects you’re working on.
  3. At the sound of the second alarm at 4:30, save your work and include any final thoughts.
  4. When 4:45 comes around, this is your time to respond to last minute emails, finish any leftover ‘tasking’ and plan for the next day.
  5. In theory, when you make it to that last alarm (and, if it’s a normal day), you should be ready to walk out the door. You shouldn’t be tied to any work-related activities and leaving work at work should be a nonissue.

After-Work Activities

After-work activities are a great motivator to get your butt in gear and out that door.  When you feel that innate, obligatory ‘pull’ from external activities, you’ll find yourself in your car driving away before you’ve even processed the work day is officially over.

Whether you sign up for personal training sessions at the gym or you tell your child you’ll show up to his soccer practice, you’ve promised yourself to someone else and to something more.  And, this is the ultimate goal.

Internal Affairs Officer

Basically, this is an Internal Affairs Officer for your own internal affairs.  So, in other words, a family member or friend would be the ideal applicant for such a position.  The idea here is to have someone in your personal life help you actually be at home or to legitimately leave work.

They can be your One Hour Reminder or your After-Work Activity.  Or, they can simply be there to say, “Hey, be here not there.”