HOW TO LEAVE THE OF­FICE ON TIME

GQ (Australia) - - GQ INC -

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

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