Suggested Title Tag: 7 Productivity Hacks to Ensure You Leave the Office by 6pm
Suggested Meta Description: Are you finding yourself stuck at the office late at night? Here are our 7 favorite productivity hacks to ensure that you start leaving the office by 6pm.
With so much work on your plate, it can seem impossible to get out of the office by 6:00 pm. It’s easy to lose track of time during the day and find yourself stuck at the office until 8pm or later.
It’s hard to meet deadlines and keep up with the fast pace of your boss. It always seems like you’re pulled in a dozen different directions. But if you know how to manage your day, leaving on time is possible.
Check out these 7 bulletproof productivity hacks to ensure you leave the office by 6:00 p.m.
1. Do Important & Urgent Tasks in the Morning
Maximize time by jumping right into your routine as soon as you get to your desk. Get a cup of coffee (or your preferred drink of choice).
Do some morning stretches or meditate for a few minutes to mentally prepare for the day. Once those two things are out of the way, be ready to hit the ground running.
Use the morning hours to complete your most urgent and important tasks. By knocking some big projects out early, you’ll feel like it’s been a productive day before you even head to lunch. If you can cross off major to-dos early in the day, you’ll increase your chances of leaving the office on time.
2. Take Breaks When You Need Them
As the body requires sleep every night, the brain requires rest to be productive.
This doesn’t mean you should take a two-hour lunch or a half hour coffee break. That’s a surefire way to get stuck in the office until all hours of the night. But it does mean you should incorporate a few five-minute breaks into your daily routine.
Grab a cup of coffee, step outside for some fresh air, or sit at your desk and relax for a few minutes. Letting your brain rest for a few moments will help keep your mind clear and fresh.
The result? You’ll end up completing your next few tasks at a faster rate.
How do you know when it’s time to take a break? If you’re pulling your hair out and biting on the edge of your pencil, a break is long overdue.
3. Control Your Calendar
Some co-workers think that an empty time slot in your calendar means it’s the perfect time to approach you. Not true! Just because you don’t have a meeting or an event planned doesn’t mean you’re not busy.
Block out time on your calendar to ensure that you’re not interrupted throughout the day. If you want to leave the office on time, you can’t allow your co-workers to interfere with your work.
Blocking out some specific time for your different tasks is a great way to keep your day on track. If you live by your calendar, you might even want to schedule in a few breaks so you remember to take them.
4. Schedule Time to Check Your Email
Who is truly to blame for all those pesky daily distractions? It’s not your co-workers—it’s your inbox.
It’s so hard to resist the desire to check every new message as it appears. But you have to make a point not to do it.
If you’ve fallen victim to this, you know it’s a rabbit hole of wasted time that you’ll never get back. Treat your inbox like any other task and schedule time throughout the day to check it.
Check your inbox first thing in the morning, one or two times throughout the day, and about an hour before you leave. Get in the habit of reading, responding, deleting, or filing emails right away. Try it for a week and you’re sure to see how much more productive you can be in the course of a day.
5. Group Similar Tasks Together To Get Into a Groove
Depending on how varied your task list is, it’s a good idea to do similar projects at the same time. When you’re working on a certain project, you’re already thinking in a certain way.
Whenever possible, do similar projects back to back. You’re already in the mindset for the task at hand and grouping like projects together and knock them out all at once.
Jumping from task to task often requires you to change the way you’re thinking. You’ll maximize hours in the day if you can focus on tackling similar tasks in a row.
6. Write Your To-Do List the Right Way
A to-do list should be a specific list of tasks that you need to do in a given day or week. The more detailed your to-do list is, the easier it is to follow.
A common mistake that many people make when writing a to-do list is to write down vague tasks without including any kind of detail. Another common mistake is to add so many items to your list. A long to-do list can seem daunting and make it hard to attack any item at all.
For example, don’t write “finish proposal” on your to-do list. Be more specific by writing things like “finish editing slide two and three of the new proposal.” The more actionable you can make your list, the easier it will be to follow—and the easier it will be to finish.
7. Grab a Healthy Snack
Looking for an easy way to boost your creativity and productivity? A 2015 survey by the British Journal of Health Psychology proves what mom has been telling you all these years: you have to eat more fruits and veggies!
Eating healthy snacks has a direct correlation to productivity. So when your mid-morning or late afternoon snack break rolls around, grab something nutritious.
Eating healthy snacks throughout the day keeps your mind sharp and your energy levels up. Being on top of your game will help you to end your workday on time!
It’s easy to get lost in the madness of to-do lists, flooded inboxes, client meetings, and project deadlines. But if you ever want to leave the office on time, you have to figure out how to be more productive.
Get your day off to a good start by doing important tasks first thing in the morning. Take breaks when you need them and eat healthy snacks when your stomach starts to rumble.
Write an actionable to-do list, control your calendar, and don’t let your inbox control you. With these tips and tricks in mind, it won’t be long before you’re scooting out the door at 6:00 pm!
James O’Neil currently works as a property manager at Jefferson Platinum Triangle, a new, transit-oriented, 400-unit apartment community located in the heart of the Platinum Triangle District of Anaheim, California.