HOW TO LEAVE THE OFFICE ON TIME
OK, so you’re not a junior with an aversion to hard work, but hanging back, every night, to complete daily tasks is equally uncool. Here, how to finish on time.
LET IT BE KNOWN
If you tell everyone around you that you have to leave at a certain time, they’ll not only be prepared for it, they might even remind you to go – and no one needs to know that the immovable commitment you have to be home for at 6pm is a date with the television and a decent glass (bottle?) of Stefano Lubiana. “Saying it out loud and owning your goal to leave on time will help you feel more empowered in your ability to do so,” says Lea Mcleod, from Employee Almanac. Also, don’t let anyone schedule a meeting after 4pm – block out your calendar for the afternoon. Try doing this one day a week at first, so people get used to it. Then gradually ramp it up.
GET IT DONE, EARLY
Everyone procrastinates on some level, but the reason many of us get stuck at work for longer is that we leave the hard stuff too long. A simple rule, if at times difficult to obey, is to try to do the hardest thing in your upcoming workday first, packing as many priorities into the morning when you have the most energy. Then you can block out the last 20 minutes of your day to make sure your tasks are completed and help you aim to get out the door.
PICK UP THE PHONE
Speaking of prioritising, think about how much of the day is taken up by emailing. It can be a great tool for communication, but generally it takes a chain of emails, and lots of typing, to achieve what could be sorted with a call. “It’s time to change your strategy: pick up the phone and with a simple call, you’ll save hours of email reading, sorting, and responding,” says Mcleod.
STOP WASTING TIME
If you’re finding yourself stuck in the office late at night, perhaps it’s time to look at your priorities and cut down on time-wasting activities. Try turning off email alerts and other pop-ups, and only checking your inbox every 30 minutes instead of 30 seconds. Mcleod suggest trying an app called Freedom, which disconnects you from the internet for specified periods of time to protect from distractions. “Doing great work and giving your job 100 per cent doesn’t have to mean spending hours of overtime at the office. Prioritise your responsibilities, minimise distractions, set the right expectations — and leave work on time,” says Mcleod. We’re totally sold. n