How to

Stop Worrying About Work

We've all been there. The work day is done but you didn't get to all you'd hope to before quitting time. And even though you're leaving the office, those unfinished tasks can weigh on you, making it nearly impossible to relax and unwind at home.

But some promising new research from Ball State University suggests there is a simple way to leave your worries at work. All you have to do is make a game plan for the next day and write down how you'll tackle the necessary tasks. "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," says Dr. Brandon Smit Ph.D., the author of the study. "It seems like we have the ability to 'turn off', or at least 'turn down', these cognitive processes by planning out where, when and how goals will be accomplished."

5 Ways to Stress Less

The next time you're feeling overwhelmed, try one of these stress-busters.

When employees in the study did this, they were able to better forget their incomplete workload than their counterparts who left for the day without creating a game plan. Of course, a long list of to-dos can be stressful and overwhelming if you have no idea how you'll get it all done, says Dr. Smit. But if you have a strategy that outlines how you'll accomplish each task, they won't weigh on your mind. So before you head out, compile a short list of what needs to be done and make quick notes on how you'll accomplish each task. That way, you'll be able enjoy your off time and return tomorrow ready to take on whatever comes your way.