Stuck at Work?
I personally use these strategies to stop working on time and still complete the most critical tasks:
In the afternoon, I take a quick assessment of how many hours I have left and what needs to be done to hit my ending goal. This could mean moving on to a new project, pushing to complete an assignment, or revising my expectations for the day.
To really ensure I stick to my end time, I schedule activities right after work. It could be something as simple as a scheduled phone call, a walk with a friend, or going to a networking event. Knowing that I will cause inconvenience to someone else by working late really helps me stop myself. (My clients who have trouble starting work in the morning use this trick at the beginning of their day.)
As a final level of reinforcement, I time block out my evening. Like Tim Ferriss says in The 4-Hour Workweek, you have to clearly define what you will do to fill the void created by working fewer hours. For me that means inviting friends over for dinner or planning a specific projects like going grocery shopping or doing laundry. By giving myself a clear objective, I remind myself that working beyond my set schedule comes at a cost. If I procrastinate or over commit, I know I'm keeping myself from doing other activities. This motivates me to plan my time and my responsibilities so I can stick to 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and then stop--guilt free!
How do you leave work on time...?
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review recently published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.