The notion of staying longer after work to be more productive is a fallacy that will keep you chasing the clock.
To be most productive, you need to leave work on time. To sustain the habit of leaving work on time, start with a small step.
Decide that, say, every Tuesday you will stop working on time, without taking extra work home with you. After freeing up Tuesdays for an entire month, add Thursdays. In another month, add Mondays, and in the fourth month, add Wednesdays. I won’t mention Fridays because I’m assuming that there’s no way you work late on Friday (or do you?)!
In the first month, after you decide that each Tuesday will be a normal eight or nine hour workday, you automatically begin to be more focused on Tuesday’s work. You begin to more judiciously parcel out your time during the day. Stop and assess what you’ve done by midday, and what else you’d like to get done. Near the end of the day, assess what other tasks you can complete, and what needs to be left for subsequent days.
Oddly, once you’ve made the decision to leave work on time on Tuesdays, every cell in your body works in unison to help you accomplish your goal. A natural, internal alignment starts in motion. Your internal cylinders fire in harmony. You will have a buoyant, productive work day on Tuesday – and leave on time.
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