Do you ever find that you spend even more time thinking about work from home than when you’re actually at your desk? That inability to detach can be detrimental to your health—and might make it more difficult to recover from stress. And, according to a new study from the British Psychological Study, employees especially have trouble leaving important, incomplete tasks at work.
In an online survey of 103 employees, researchers found that unfinished work caused more anxiety and worry at home. The findings were published in the Journal of Organizational and Occupational Psychology.
"If you have an important deadline looming on the horizon, for example, your brain will keep nudging you with reminders, which makes it difficult to get a break from work demands,” lead researcher Dr. Brandon Smit said in a statement.
However, there was a seemingly easy way to turn off those reminders. Employees who planned out how they would finish these tasks were better at detaching themselves from work. They wrote down where, when, and how they would complete the jobs.
Of course, there are other reasons why employees can’t detach. Maybe you have a boss who emails you late at night, or it could even be genetic, according to a small study at the University of Notre Dame. Whatever the cause, coming up with a plan to manage your stressors seems to be a simple way to identify job-related anxieties, and make sure they don’t completely derail nights at home with your family.