Old TV shows used to start with “How was work today, honey?” when the breadwinner returned home for dinner and the dutiful spouse had their drink ready resembling a “Leave it to Beaver” episode. Those days are long gone, with multiple working household members, Blue Apron food deliveries, and telecommuting or other non-traditional job schedules.
Fast forward to today: if your Alexa unit asks you “how was your day”, what will your answer be? If your day was tough, how much of that stress will you bring home with you?
Here are daily work byproducts that EASILY fit in your jacket pocket:
If you have empathy, it’s hard to not bring things home with you. “We lost one on the table” is a stereotypical example of what a surgeon might bring home. Not easy to shake that off.
IT pros have similar challenges: You upset a coworker with an ill-timed jab on Slack. You spelled a client’s email address wrong and they’re frustrated. Your supervisor nit-picked your documentation. You erased a drive without verifying with the owner first. You couldn’t configure a network device despite repeated attempts.
It’s normal to carry emotions home, but may not be the healthy reaction. Try to replace what you bring home with more constructive emotions:
lesson learned (“I won’t be doing THAT again!”)
skill improvement (“I’m glad I experienced that for next time”)
forgiveness (“Glad I apologized for hurting their feelings”)
reflection (“I’m going to set an alarm to ensure I don’t miss lunch again”)
humility (“I really thought I covered all my bases, I’m going to ask for more help next time”)
It’s natural to bring the unpleasant emotions home. But it’s probably not healthy or constructive. Substitute an emotion for a positive one and the “how was your day” question may have a better answer than you might expect.