Work/Life Balance: 3 Ways to Stop Staying Late at Work

One of the things we focus on at RLO Training is establishing a good Work/Life Balance.

Building a successful, profitable business is great, but keep an eye on how you live your life and make sure you are still there for your family. Nothing can be more of a red flag than habitually staying late at work. Missing family time, missing your kid’s activities or time with your spouse, or simply time getting some time away from the office to take a breath.

This recent article in Fast Company by Elizabeth Grace Saunders has a few great tips on ways to keep your time at work under your control. Here’s a breakdown from the article:

1. Setting Fake Deadlines & Planning Your Day

Think of it as setting your alarm clock ahead ten minutes so you are never late.. As Saunders points out, if you have something due on Friday, set the deadline for Wednesday, and if you can’t get it knocked out, or something comes up, you have a few extra days to finish it without staying past 5 to knock it out.

Take a look at your daily to-do list and identify the tasks that you are more likely to try to tackle at the end of the day, or even into the evening. Instead, do those first. Get them done so they aren’t even there when it’s time to call it a day.

2. “Small Tasks Only” Time

Set aside time during the day to knock out small administrative tasks such as e-mail or submitting reports – those tasks that you might put off until the end of the day, which will keep you there once you realize that you’ve run out of time. Saunders suggests blocking off two slots, one in the morning and one later in the day, perhaps after lunch?

3. Establish a Departure Routine

This is a great one as it is about establishing predictable behavior. Setting an alarm 30 minutes before your goal departure time and establish a routine of packing things up, shutting down (& saving) work, and getting those end-of-the-day discussions out of the way so you are walking out the door and heading home.

It’s okay if work demands an extra hour or two from time to time – that’s the nature of running a business. However, staying late on a regular basis can be addictive and destructive not only to your business but to your health and family as well.

How do you do it?

You owe it to your employees and your family to always be at your best, whether at work or at home. If you don’t use these three tips above, come up with your own. And let us know – What are some ways that you are able to achieve work/life balance? Any constructive tips or feedback in the comments below would be great!

Written by RLO Training