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4 ‘choices’ for leaving work on time

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in Workplace Communication

“Just one more thing, then I’ll leave.” That’s the battle cry of workers everywhere who can’t seem to leave the office on time to enjoy their personal lives. Make sure you’re not one of them by taking control of your time. These choices are key:

1. Choose to finish one thing first, then check your e-mail. That way, says Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check E-Mail in the Morning (Fireside), you’ll accomplish at least something before being swept up in e-mail.
Action tip: Tackle a task — even a small one — first thing tomorrow morning before checking e-mail, and you’ll set a good tone for the rest of
your day.

2. Choose your MIT (most important thing). Even without an elaborately categorized to-do list, you can guess what tomorrow’s MIT will be.
Action tip: At day’s end, decide on your MIT for tomorrow. Make it a small but important, achievable task. Write it down, and put it where you can’t miss it. Tomorrow morning, do it first thing. No matter what.

3. Choose a post-work activity. If you have to pick up your child at 5:30 or you’ve got dinner reservations with a friend, chances are you’ll be out the door on time.
Action tip: Make dates with yourself or friends for the gym, a movie or simply dinner at home at 6 on the dot.

4. Choose a wrap-up time. At the beginning of each day, decide what time you’re going to leave, and set a wrap-up timer.
Action tip: If you have a 6 p.m. “date,” set an alert to go off at 5 p.m., 5:30 and 5:45 to virtually tap you on the shoulder and say “Hey, time to wrap it up!”

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