Posted: Jun 26, 2012 9:00 AM
If you find yourself too wound-up from work to settle in with your family as soon as you walk in the door, this simple routine will take you from your 9-5 frame of mind, to family time.

Leave it at the office

No, really. Leave it at the office. Take time to wrap everything up so you can shut your office door knowing you've done everything you could in that day. The rest can wait until tomorrow. Make a mental note of the things that typically hover in your mind when the day is done and do everything you can to get those things crossed off your to-do list before you walk out the door. Then, let it go.

With our office virtually shoved into our little smart phones, it's tempting to feel like work is now a 24-hour gig -- but it's not. Remember: There's a time and place for work. When you're not in that place, don't let work occupy your mind.

Silence is golden

If you have to commute, leave the stereo off to give you time with your thoughts. Mull your day over in your car before you get home. Then, let it go.

If you have a home office, make a habit of taking at least 15 minutes for yourself before you leap into mom-mode. Duck away to your bedroom, plop yourself on your bed and just decompress. No TV. No iPhone. Just you, your bed and silence. A few minutes of quiet time can do wonders when you're trying to shut down and shift gears.

Me time. Take it.

It's easy to open the door to cheers of "Mommy!" (or chaos abounding) and run right into the thick of it. Instead, acknowledge your little love bugs then immediately go change your clothes, wash your face, or do whatever little game change ritual you need to do. Make it consistent and you'll have less guilt about leaving their loving little faces (or tornado they created in your absence) once you've walked in the door. They'll understand that mommy comes home, disappears for a minute, but she always comes right back. The best part -- when you do come back, you can focus on them (versus wondering why on earth you're still in your work clothes while you're tucking them in).

Hide the evidence

If you have an easier time turning down chocolate than you do not checking your work email, hide the evidence. Put your laptop away and throw your phone in a drawer -- whatever it takes. Out of sight, out of mind!

All about them

Don't relive your work day over dinner. Instead, go around the table and have everyone share one thing that made them laugh that day. Smiles from your kids can put even the worst work day into perspective.

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