Yesterday we looked at getting up a little earlier, or at least getting up in a more efficient and painless way. Today’s activity is a complementary one – it’s to finish work on time.
The three happiest people I worked with over the years all seemed to have one main thing in common: they left work on time. They also got their jobs done efficiently and were pleasant to work alongside. In addition, they all had positive things on the go outside of work, and were enthusiastic about going off and doing them. Apart from that, they had really quite different backgrounds and different personalities – but the leaving work on time thing was the common thread.
Yes, that’s anecdotal evidence, agreed, but there might be something in it. They weren’t trying to suck up to the boss in a fake way by trying to look ‘soooo busy’, and they weren’t trying to make themselves feel useful or avoid going home.
Try leaving work on time and see whether it’s good for you too – run it as an experiment. Think backwards through your working day, prioritise your tasks, and allocate about 15 to 20 minutes at the end of your hours to get those little miscellaneous tasks done, and shut everything down properly.
Make a note of how you feel. Try to catch any fleeting thoughts about it, whether they’re rational or irrational. Are you worried about looking different from your co-workers? Scared about losing your job? Are you dreading that horrible commute?
Now walk away, wish people a pleasant evening and go and do something more enjoyable.
Do you find it difficult to leave work on time? Is there anything you can do that might make it easier?