Go Home Earlier!

Do you tend to stay late at the office to ‘catch up’ on stuff that didn’t get done in the normal working hours of your day? You know, the REAL work that you just couldn’t get to because of the interruptions/meetings/fires, etc. that you dealt with all day long.

You probably tell yourself that if you stay later, you’ll get more work done. After all, everyone is gone for the day. It’s quieter.  The phone is less likely to ring and emails slow down. With that all out of the way, now you can get some stuff done.


Not necessarily.

The trouble with staying late is that you’ve already put in a full day and you’re tired.

I’ve got something I want to tell you …

You aren’t nearly as productive as you think you are.

I know. Sometimes you may have a short-term project that you NEED to spend additional time working on. But has staying later at the office become … a habit?

Is your personal life put on the back burner day after day – all in the name of getting your job done?

Do your children ask who that stranger is that keeps showing up at the house late into the evening?

Does the family dog who only growls at strangers … growl at you?

Our jobs would take 24 hours a day if we allowed it.

As a business owner, I know firsthand how consuming ‘stuff that needs to get done’ can be. And whether you work in a home office or a big corporate tower in the midst of downtown Metropolis – we ALL need to work harder at not working so hard.

So, here are a few tips you can use to get you out of the office a bit earlier.

Nix those last-minute interruptions.
Close your door 20 minutes prior to leaving for the day so that co-workers with last-minute ‘emergencies’ are less likely to drop by. If that doesn’t work, then at least let them know you only have a few minutes to deal with them, and then you are ‘out the door.’ If you happen to work in a cubicle, then be sure to use your voice mail and put your coat in a visible spot.

If you work in a home office, then put some boundaries around what your operating hours are – and stick to them. I know. It’s all too easy to let the business cut into your personal life when it’s literally right across the hall. Shut the computer down, and get out of that office.

Start meetings prior to 3:00 pm.
If you do need to schedule a meeting, be sure not to make it too late in the day. Ideally, you want to be out of that meeting about an hour prior to leaving the office. This will allow you some time to take care of any last-minute details that didn’t get tended to earlier in the day.

Block out the last hour of your day – every day.
Use that last hour of the day to finish up any work that needs to get done, or clear off your email. Be sure to spend a few minutes plotting out your priorities for the next day too.

Be assertive.
Commit to getting out of the office on time. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you ‘leave at 5 pm every day as I have a commitment I must keep.’ Even if that commitment is to your family or yourself, you’re not obligated to tell anyone what that commitment is. People will generally support you when you make your goals public.

Schedule personal time.
Make an appointment with your family, yourself, anything. That way when someone asks you to meet late in the day you can honestly say you are already booked.

You get the idea, right?

One of the most productive things you can do is to …


Go home. Relax. The work will be there tomorrow.

Make it a new habit to consistently leave the office on time every day. Remember that work is not your life. You are working to LIVE. You want to enjoy your work but you also need a worthwhile LIFE as well.

It’s your life. Live it.

Go home earlier … get more done!

Now, get on with your day!












About Georgina Forrest

Georgina Forrest is a Productivity Coach & Organizing Specialist at Smartworks! Enterprises Inc. in Red Deer, Alberta. Her credentials include Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®), Organizer Coach, and membership with Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) where she has attained Gold Leaf status – a designation acknowledging her as an experienced professional organizer. Her specialties are geared toward increasing productivity, streamlining administration and decreasing stress in the workplace. She will teach you how to manage your time, space and information so you can be more effective and efficient at work. Additionally she offers training programs, productivity coaching and time management-related presentations.