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Break Bad After-Work Habits and Save Your Career (and Sanity)

If you want to have a successful career, what you do when you're not at work could be just as important as what you do when you're in the office.

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(Photo Credit: BuzzFarmers/Flickr)

Don't believe us? Try doing the following, and see if your productivity and outlook on life improves:

1. When you leave work, really leave work.

"Set an alarm for 5:00 or whenever it is you leave, and leave," suggests Jessica Sager at The Grindstone. "Knowing there's going to be an annoying beep, a Justin Bieber song or your mother-in-law's voice coming will prompt you to hustle at the end of the day and tie up all your loose ends on time."

Why is this important? Well, thanks to mobile technology, it's now possible for us to work 24/7, save a little time carved out for sleep. (And don't challenge science to fix that problem, please. We're not looking forward to the mobile implants that will allow us to process reports while we're snoozing.)

You need time off from work in order to recharge your batteries, and you won't get it unless you both leave the office and unplug.

2. Get some exercise.

Sure, you keep meaning to get up early and hit the gym, and if you can manage it, morning is a great time to get some walking in and get yourself revved up for the day. But if you're not a morning person, afternoon is also a fine time to squeeze in a little physical activity among the typing and TV watching that makes up most of our days.

Bring your gym clothes to work, and you can exercise as a break between work and home. It's a good reset button.

3. Do nothing for a few minutes a day.

When was the last time you took a moment to breathe? Meditation is good for physical and emotional health, but even if that's not your bag, spending a few minutes a day away from screens and to-do lists will do you good.

Break the habit of thinking that productivity equals being busy every second of the day. You'll feel better and get more done.

Tell Us What You Think

What are your worst after-work habits? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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