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October 05, 2011

How To Leave Work Earlier

Posted in: It's That Time,Living Simply,Must-read articles

outlookI have recently moved my office into my home. I'm actually enjoying the integration of "home" and "work" life. It's not the distraction that I thought it would be. As a matter of fact, my biggest problem is working too long and late into the evening.

Today I received an email from Marcia Francois – to my rescue again!

Try these suggestions for organizing your day and not over-working yourself:

1. Make a list at the end of every day
This will help you to hit the ground running every day when you get to work and actually be more productive once you're there.

2. Focus on your priorities first
Use an Eat the Frog principle and do nothing else before your main priorities (frogs) are accomplished every day.

3. Set some boundaries
If you are currently working until 6 or 7 every night (or even later), then set a small goal that says you won't work until later than 6 every night next week (or earlier if you can). Then stick to it. The next week set your goal a bit earlier – 5.45 and then 5.30 until you're working until 5 normally (or whenever you'd like your work day to end). You can work late now and again (if you absolutely have to) but don't make it a habit.

4. Set reminders in Outlook
Set a recurring appointment for the next month. The appointment should be made for 30 minutes before you want to leave your office and should say tidy desk and write tomorrow's to-do list.

Coaching tip – If you find it really hard to leave, make an appointment outside the office so that you absolutely have to leave at a certain time. When I find myself slipping into the bad habit of working late, I start scheduling earlier gym classes and I hold myself accountable to a gym friend.

Or I make a hair appointment to force myself to leave the office.

If you put these four tips into practice consistently, I guarantee that you will soon be leaving your office earlier to enjoy the rest of your life.

Since it's the start of the month, why not resolve to continue this month on a good note? Make your list now and set that appointment in your Outlook calendar.

Marcia Francois is a time management coach and speaker who inspires busy women to break out of overwhelm, make the most of their time and take purposeful and focused action so they have the time and freedom to live life to the full.


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