I want to start this post by asking yourself if, usually, you do overstay at work? Are you this kind of worker who fell better staying late at work, having always something important to finish, and who deliver never enough? Do you reach your goal at the end of the day? Do you set goals for your day at work? We are not talking here about special time when rush it’s there, but more on the habit of doing overstay.
Several books, and I think here I will save you reading time to give you more space to work, mention that working 10 hours a days more or less, is useless.
There are books talking about the fear to leave early because manager are still there, what about if I go home earlier than my manager ? Will I lost my job ? This kind of question which leads to staying at work, doing presence rather than efficient work, wasting time and energy for letting them know you love your job.
There are also, others who talk about concentration, and capability of doing good job after few hours. Do you remember once, staying late, doing stuff important, and by the end of the day when you are finally on the way back to home, you tell yourself you should have do it a better way ? Sometimes, it’s during your way back home you find the solution. Staying late doesn’t never mean doing good. That’s simply because of energy management. Nobody can do good job for long without energy renewal.
And finally, there are books talking about doing a task and another task and another task all the same time. That leads to not doing task at all, but submerging us with lot of stress and having to switch from one things to another without enough space to concentrate on what matter. Have you never be answering email during an important job to do? Have you never be distracted by a text message during your day? These distractions are always there when we try to concentrate to our job, we have to switch from one context to another. Multitasking is not a solution. There are a lot of activity you can do in order to understand multitasking disfunction.
Have you try to find a solution to your overstay problem? Yes, it’s a problem, overstay mean give more time to work than to you and when I say you, I mean you for sure but also your family, friends, children, pets, all people for who you matter.
So I will give you some tips, not always easy to implement, but the result is worth the trouble.
Give you space to concentrate
Simply turn off notifications of your phone, email, messaging application, everything that distract you, Facebook included. I’m not saying for ever, but for an hour or two. Let’s your contacts know that you are NOT AVAILABLE AT THE MOMENT. You will be later, and in case of emergency, let them know they can call you and leave you a message. If you work on an office with door, shut the doors and put a sign that say “I’m busy to concentrate on my work. Back in an hour/free at 11am”. If it’s an open space, the same, put the sign on your desk.
Schedule your available time not your busy time.
Let’s your collegue know that if they need you, you will be available at this time. It will often give you 15 minutes more time to concentrate. Let’s say jack need you for a job. If you are online he will jump on you, distracting you from your job. Let’s say now, Jack know you will be available in 15min. He will have time to do other things or to take a break waiting for you.
Renew your energy
That’s not a solution to not taking break. It’s easy to think, doing a full day at your desk will let you have more job done at the end of the day, but that’s false. Staying sit 8 hours, will just give you pain in your ass, literally. Take breaks during your day, take a walk, go to grab a coffee, have your lunch outside, in a park if you like it. But go outside the building, we said a break. Watching video on Youtube, looking facebook wall, or checking your favorite forum and blog, means staying connected, not doing a break (this is considered as distractions as well).
Plan your day
Give you goals for you day work. Reach your goals and see at the end of the day if you can go home happy. It’s all about that. If you reach your day goal you will easily know it’s time to go back home. Tomorrow will be another day and you need to renew your energy to be productive in a long term.
There is few method that help us to manage hour time and work. I’m sure you hear about some of them. The most famous I think is The Pomodoro technique. This technic will give you scope to concentrate and time to renew your energy.
There is another one I want to introduce, it’s called Kanban for 1. Kanban is a framework use to manage productivity in different type of company. First introduce by Toyota, Kanban is now used in software development and other businesses. Kanban drive the production process over a workflow of task and time. Kanban for 1 is the same principles adapt to personal work.
That will help you to manage your time, and your work. Avoiding you doing multitasking, be focus on the moment, and achieve more on a day. You will have plan for your day. You will have visibility about your progression. That will help you to go back home early because you will reach your day’s goal.
So start now, take care of you! Becoming more productive will give you more time, more energy and more room for your family.