How to leave work on time

Now that most of us have a heavier work load than ever, it’s important for us not to allow work to swamp our private lives. Whilst overtime is commonplace when necessary, constant overtime is not. So here are some tips on how to leave work on time.

The business gurus at Forbes have published an article explaining how to utilise your 9 hours (approx.) at work most effectively. Remember that the better you become at time management, the better your productivity and your overall wellbeing.

We all know that working too much is bad for your physical and mental wellbeing, yet so many of us allow our lives to take this turn. Take on board just a few of these steps and you should find yourself much better organised both mentally and physically.

The first and perhaps the most difficult of the steps is to outline what you actually do in a ‘normal’ day, and how long each task takes you. You may spend all day stressing about finishing a brief on time, but when you see at the end of the day that it took you 6 hours to complete you may realise that this should have taken you far less time. It’s then far easier to look back and see what your distractions were.

Secondly, start the day writing a to-do list. Begin with the most important, and as anything else comes your way, simply add it to the list. Don’t stop what you’re doing and start a new task as now both will be finished in a panic. If any of these tasks have a time scale, write those down too and your perspective on time will suddenly become a lot clearer.

Next, you should time yourself. Really think about how long your next task will take you. If you think that writing a blog shouldn’t take you more than 2 hours, set the timer and finish when your time is up. Knowing you only have a certain amount of time is a great way of preventing regular phone or e-mail checks.

The burden of many a worker’s day is the distraction of e-mails. If a task needs completing, and completing well, shut down your e-mails for your designated time slot, set the alarm and get the work done. No more minor distractions or ‘I’ll just reply to this, it’ll take 2 seconds’.

Lastly, if your to-do list is still longer than you would like it to be at the end of your day, take a look at the remaining tasks and ask yourself the following question. If the power went out at 5pm every day, would this need doing today? If it can wait until tomorrow, then let it.

If your organisation is interested in offering your employees classes in stress or time management, just get in touch! They’re a great way of showing that you understand the pressure they are under whilst helping them cope.

To read the full Forbes article, click here or just follow this link to read the first in our new series for 2015 on productivity.