Raise your hand if you’ve ever worked way past the end of your day just because you could. Seriously, there’s always something else to be done. And I’m getting paid when I work, so why not keep going just one. more. hour?

That mindset is behind the idea of ‘total work’ that I read about the other night. The basic premise came from a German philosopher named Josef Pieper, and is exactly what it sounds like. With total work, our lives revolve around nothing but work. 

And yeah, most of us want to enjoy the other parts of our lives, like our family, friends, hobbies, and leisure time. We don’t want to work nonstop. The problem is that we allow work to seep into every waking hour. If we’re not working, we’re thinking about working, running through our to-do list and mentally preparing to respond to client emails. 

Basically, our lives are shaped with a goal of constant productivity. Here’s the thing. (And I am preaching to the choir here!) You don’t need to be achieving some sort of result to be productive.  And your worth is not a result of your productivity. You are inherently worthy.

You know what’s productive beyond your job? Sleeping. Meditating. Yoga. Dinner with friends. Playing with your kids. Reading a book. We’ve got to allow ourselves to be fully immersed in whatever we’re doing, being physically and mentally present whether we’re working or watching a movie on the couch.

I’m just as guilty as everyone else in letting work consume my time and my thoughts, but I don’t want that to be the case, so I’ve started building in routines that help me switch out of work mode completely. One thing that’s been helpful is using the “Daily Shutdown” ritual with Sunsama. I shared before about how I (eventually) fell in love with Sunsama and use it for my workload management. Since it helps me move through my workday, I’ve also got it set to nudge me to start wrapping up my work. 

Honestly, I just need the encouragement to get moving to part two of my workday: the care and feeding of my little people 😜 They definitely demand all of my brainpower!

I want to hear alllll your advice- how do you unplug from the total work mode?