Working Late AGAIN?

Sometimes the hardest part about work is not completing tasks and meeting deadlines, but the act of getting out the door on time. When was the last time you left work on time? If you always leave when the clock strikes done, there’s no point in reading on, but I’ve found that a lot of people struggle to ‘clock out’ on time.

It may not seem like a big deal to spend an hour or two extra at work every once in a while (or every day), but if you learn to leave on time you’ll gain back that one precious resource that everyone is striving for – TIME, personal, free, time.

So, how do you get yourself some free time?  Well, here are a few suggestions:

1. Goals: At the beginning of each day, ask yourself:  “what do I need to accomplish by the end of today to make myself feel good about leaving on time?” Set a goal and stick to it.

1. Start everything with the end in mind. Basically, know what the finishing line will look like.  Ask yourself, “do I want this project completed? Or, is it OK to break off a chunk and do only that today?” Trust yourself and time- block the project by starting and finishing by your projected markers.

2. Learn to say no. Social committees, projects that are not yours, and cake in the lunch room can take up a lot of time that you could spend in a more meaningful manner with people who are important to you.  Be selective and be firm.

I know that saying “NO” can be difficult in some circumstances, and especially in the workplace, but over committing is hard on YOU.

Here are some good lines to help you say no with grace:

Social committee: ” I’d be happy to assist or comment on events through an email or two, but committing to meetings would be difficult for me because I have to focus on “A and B” projects right now. Thanks.

Projects – “I’m over-committed right now, and if I take on your project I won’t be able to do the project justice.  Thanks for thinking of me, though”

Cake? Sure….where????

Remember, you’ll be a more effective employee, colleague and leader if you show up at work re-charged and enthusiastic.  Down time is important to your health and to your career, so pay attention to your boundaries by saying no!


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