Today is ‘National Go Home on Time Day‘ and it’s also (at least in the Northern hemisphere) the longest day of the year. So here’s the question: are you going to finish work on time and get out and enjoy the rest of your day?
“On time” can mean different things to different people and for many ‘knowledge workers’, there’s no natural end to their day. In fact, with no end in sight to our workload, an always-full email in-box and colleagues and clients working all over the world, it’s in our best interests to develop the skill of knowing when to bring our working day to a close.
This isn’t about setting an arbitrary cut-off time and simply walking away from your desk, but knowing that you can’t get everything done within one day. It’s about knowing your priorities, focusing on them and knowing that it will all be waiting for you when you come back in tomorrow.
As humans we need time away from work, to relax and recuperate. This recovery time allows us to be just as effective when we return to the workplace. Leaving on time isn’t a sign of weakness or an indication that you’re not committed to your job. It’s a sign that you are clear about your priorities.
And a special shout-out to any senior leaders reading this: today it’s especially important for you to role-model to your employees that leaving on time is not only acceptable, it’s a great idea. Set the tone by leaving on time and encouraging others to do the same.