How to Head Home While There's Still Daylight

Published Monday, November 07, 2011 8:44 PM


Hurrah! Daylight savings has arrived to add a few extra hours of light during the waning cold-weather days. But what good are the extra hours if you're spending them with your nose to the office grindstone?


Do yourself a favor and learn to get out of the office on time: working late is a habit that gets harder to shake the longer you do it. We have seven tips that will help you leave work at a reasonable hour each night.


Make it a Priority: To begin, make heading home at 5pm, or an appropriate quitting time, a priority. You can't meet a goal you haven't set, so pick a time and stick to it.


Manage Your Time: Leaving the office at a reasonable hour requires managing your time well during the day. Too much time spent in idle chit chat, surfing the web, or in putting off must-do tasks will derail a timely exit each evening. Need help managing your time effectively? Read our tips for time-blocking


Say Good-bye to Guilt: Don't feel guilty about leaving work on time. If your colleagues are still toiling away, it's easy to feel embarrassed about heading out. But you may be a more efficient or focused worker than your peers. As long as your work isn't being shortchanged, leaving on time is okay.


Farewell to Face Time: Some office cultures unwittingly encourage or reward "face time" making it harder to head home at a reasonable hour. If this is a problem, take time to talk with your boss or colleagues. Demonstrating how efficiently and productively you use your time makes it easier to head for the door.


Ask for Help: When faced with an overwhelming amount of work, rather than burning the midnight oil, consider talking to your boss about redistributing the load. Prep for that conversation by spending time keeping track of your hours so your boss understands the scope of work and hours required.


Baby Steps: Start incrementally; shoot to leave work by 5 or 6pm one night a week and then add a day at a time. Starting small betters your odds of success.


HomeWork: When all else fails, plan to finish work from home. Bringing work home isn't an ideal solution, but sometimes you just want to put the kids to bed or meet a friend for dinner. So head out the door to attend to your personal needs and commit to wrapping up the remaining work at home.


Do you consistently head out the door at a reasonable hour? What are your tips for leaving work on time? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.


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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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