[dropcap2]W[/dropcap2]hether it be for fitness, social or family commitments, or a mixture of all three, pretty much every woman longs for the day when she can leave the office at 5pm on the dot. If you normally work well into the wee hours, I can’t guarantee your workday will suddenly reduce by half, but these tips will help you get out the door on time, making every work day a little shorter.
1. Say No
Ok, it was a man who said it, but the first tip to ultimate success is listening to Warren Buffet and saying, “No.”
Many of us fear that saying “no” to a colleague, whether they be senior, equal or junior, can somehow be image damaging. No one wants to seem like they’re not doing their share.
But as Mary Thomas, a HR manager in London, said: “Saying ‘no’ can actually be one of your most valuable assets in business. It shows people that you don’t have time for tasks that you don’t think are valuable to the company. It also shows you can prioritise your workload, leaving you more time for success. First explain why you are saying ‘no,’ (the company’s best interests), and then say it. Keep it short and sweet and crack on with the important tasks you have to hand.”
2. Turn Your Email Off
It is one of the oldest tricks in the post-internet book, but turning off your email will really help you balance your time, however, there is no point turning off your email notifications if you have not also switched off you Twitter, news feeds or whatever other distracting mediums you subscribe to. If it helps you can even set up an ‘out of office’ reply, to let people who email know when you will be checking your emails, and to call you if a matter is urgent.
3. Don’t Get Distracted by Feelings
Maria Pinelli, Global Vice Chair of Strategic Growth Markets at international accountants, Ernst & Young, says it is important for women to focus so they can achieve the ultimate amount in the shortest period of time. “Think facts, not feelings. Don’t get distracted or wander off topic. Know when to stick to the here and now.” One way to action this is to split your to-do list into two. Things that need doing with an emotional connection, (e.g. getting a colleague a birthday card), should be done at a completely different time. This will leave you to focus on the job at hand.
4. Tell Your Boss How the Business Will Benefit by Your On-Time Office Departure
According to researchers from Harvard Medical School, chronic exhaustion is costing businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity. Additionally, hot tempers and distress correlate with long working hours, suggesting the fewer hours people work, the better the atmosphere. Outline how by leaving on time, or even working from home on occasion, will improve your working life. Too many people procrastinate and stay late just so it looks like they are working long hours. This is not effective or beneficial for you or the company.
5. Stop Going to Meetings
Ever sat in a meeting, doodling away, fidgeting or day dreaming? A study in the UK showed the average office worker spends around four hours a week in meetings that have no benefit to them or the other attendees. A study by a leading psychologist also outlined how too many meetings can decrease productivity. Create a case and to drop the meeting you feel is irrelevant to your projects and use the extra minutes to blast through your workload and head out the door on time.