Is the end of your day creeping later and later? It’s easy to put in extra hours at work when you have a lot going on. But, taking some time away to care for yourself will help you be more efficient in the long run.
Many workers aspire toward better work-life balance. One key component to this is actually leaving work at the end of the day and heading home. It seems like this should be a relatively easy part of the equation. However, leaving the office on time is often easier said than done.
If you struggle with this, here are a few tips to help you get out the door.
1. Don’t beat yourself up
First of all, you won’t do yourself any favors by stressing out about how you’re failing to leave work on time. So, let that go. Instead, have compassion for yourself. Know that, yes, you’d like to start leaving work earlier on a more consistent basis. Be patient and kind to yourself as you work to find ways to make that happen. You won’t learn anything by being super hard on yourself.
2. Know why you’re doing it
It’s always easier to accomplish something when you know exactly why it’s a goal and how you’ll benefit once you achieve it. Spending less time at work is a good thing for a lot of different reasons. Basically, deliberate rest helps you to be more creative and productive. Your problem-solving and communication skills improve, too. And, you’ll even be healthier. Keeping these payouts in mind should help you get there.
3. Arrive early
There are a lot of good reasons to get to work early. Getting stuff done before the day officially begins can help you feel more in control. It should also help you to leave work a little earlier. Be sure to use your mornings to sketch out a plan for the day – a day that ends when you want it to. Having the time and space to do this before everyone else arrives could make a big difference.
4. Plan the end of the day carefully
If you want to leave work at five, don’t schedule an important meeting for the hour before that. Instead, try to leave the last 30 to 60 minutes of your day for accomplishing small tasks and getting ready for the next day.
5. Set reminders on your phone
You want to start planning your exit long before the clock actually strikes the final hour. So, set up a few reminders on your phone. One can remind you that you have just 30 minutes left before it’s time to leave. Then, set a 15-minute and a five-minute alarm to make sure you get out the door.
Finally, stick to the plan. Your reminders won’t do much good if you ignore them. Respect the promise you made to yourself about leaving on time the way you would if you had made the commitment to someone else. Before you know it, you’ll be in the habit of leaving work a little earlier.
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