Friday, April 26, 2013

Keeping Reasonable Work Hours

Do you have difficulty leaving work at a reasonable hour? Are your long hours causing problems in your personal or family life? Look at this issue honestly, and you may see a pattern of your own making. If this is the case, and you don’t know how to change the pattern, consider the suggestions below.

Challenge Your Perceptions
What are your perceptions regarding your work? Do you think if you finish all tasks on your daily to-do list, you’ll finally be caught up? Or, are you hesitant to ask for assistance because you perceive the work wouldn’t get done to your standards? Reality check: If you work in a busy environment, you may never completely catch up. And although a co-worker may not approach a task the same way you would, this doesn’t always mean the work won’t get done well. So, delegate a few tasks.

Actions to Help You Exit
Start small. Commit to one day a week of leaving work at a reasonable time. Tell others about your plan, and ask them to hold you to it. Block out your work calendar so you don’t schedule any meetings in the last hour of your day, if possible. Set an alarm for thirty minutes prior to departure time to trigger a wrap up, including time to review and organize tasks for the following day.

As a visible signal that you’re leaving the office soon, pull out your coat or briefcase. This should dissuade most people from approaching you with requests. If they don’t catch on, politely and professionally tell them you will have to follow up on any requests the next day.

Other Commitments Await
Remember and keep commitments you’ve made to others, including those outside of work who need to be able to count on you too. And if you’re fortunate enough to have some down time, take advantage of it and do something you enjoy—maybe even relax.

Having no balance in your life can negatively impact your personal life, and it’s likely your work performance may suffer as well. Your mind and body need a reprieve so you can approach your daily work with a fresh perspective, new ideas, and energy. So, take better care to leave work on time; chances are, you will not only be happier, but healthier.

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