How to leave the office on time and enjoy your life

I get many questions from clients and readers and one of the most common questions is this one:

How do I leave work earlier? I am working so late every evening and I don’t have a life outside of the office?

Here are my suggestions:

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 Friday today, why not resolve to start next week off on a good note.

Make your list now and set that appointment in your Outlook calendar.

P.S. Let me know how you do 🙂

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  1. Love this…thanks!

  2. Great tips. I would have needed them a couple years ago, but since then I’ve taken some distance and I’m much better at reminding myself that I’m not “that” necessary and that my office won’t collapse if I’m not there! I guess it has to do with having other priorities outside too, like we do… 😉

  3. i am working in event industry, and usually we work late in office, we go 9pm 10pm or even later. your inputs i like but it is very difficult to apply in our field.

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