For some, leaving work on time seems like a distant dream. Company culture can make it difficult to stand up and leave if everyone else is still at their desks, it can almost feel like jumping ship on your crew. You want to appear loyal to your team, but you also want to have free time, a social life and of course time to see your family.
Working normal hours goes a long way in keeping you happy day-to-day. Having more family time is important, and you’ll have a better work-life balance in general. Leaving work on time is always preferable.
On top of this, working long hours doesn’t always look great. Perhaps it is really saying ‘I worked unproductively today and have lost control over my schedule’. In which case, it’s time to look at how you are structuring your day, and whether you can actually handle your current workload.
In fact, during 2015, 13% of the population were working over 48 hours per week. These long hours eventually take their toll, and a mix of stress and sleep deprivation may not make you the most likeable person.
Here is how to structure your working day, so you can work normal hours:
Start your day right
When you first get to work, rather than immediately jumping into a task, allocate some time to communicate with your team and create a list of tasks in a priority order. Once you’re clear on what you have to do, you can better schedule your day.
Be more comfortable saying ‘no’
It’s easy in a corporate environment to pressurise yourself into becoming a people-pleaser, so learn to say ‘no’ more often. If a colleague asks you to stay behind and do them a favour, and you need to go, decline respectfully and empathetically.
You can be more productive by eliminating the distractions around you, such as radios that are a bit too loud, and even your mobile phone. Set a length of time that you will work without distraction, and take short breaks every half an hour or so to cool off.
Tell your colleagues
If you find yourself constantly staying behind after work, tell your colleagues in advance that you’re leaving on time. They’ll likely help keep you accountable, allowing you to use peer pressure to your advantage.