One of the major factors in achieving effective work life balance is managing your day correctly.
There are two reasons that people end up working late or taking work home
1) There is simply too much work for one person
2) (this one isn’t as easy to stomach) You aren’t managing your workload correctly.
If it’s the aforementioned then you need to draw this matter to the attention of your manager. Document your conversation – either have it and follow it up with an e mail to them outlining what you discussed. Make sure however that you have all your bases covered and that you are 100% sure that you are managing your day correctly before you have this conversation.
If you find yourself fire fighting, jumping from one unfinished tast to another you just remembered then it’s likely you could benefit from a more organised day.
Every work environment is different however there are a few techniques that you can try to help you get your day in order.
Make a list (no need to check it twice…:-)
At the end of your work day make a comprehensive list of everything that has to be done the following day.
Empty your head of all the things that are going to drive you mad and stress you out when you leave the office and put them on paper. Factor in your usual tasks that you will have to do for example: Check email, check voicemails, respond to both, 9:30am meeting and so on and so forth. Use numbers to prioritize what you have to do.
When the list is made. Leave it on your desk if secure or somewhere you will see it in the morning. Go home and forget about it.
At the beginning of the following day begin working through your list beginning with the most important first.
This sounds like an obvious and simple exercise and it is but it is really very effective at a) emptying your head of potentially worrying thoughts before you leave the office and b) beginning your day with a sense of purpose. It’s natural in the morning to take a little time to fully wake up – this way your tasks are all outlined before you even arrive – you just get to work once you’re there.
I will post more simple time management exercises over the next week. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com