I've seen this scenario play out countless times at work. A coworker begins their day with a list of things they want to accomplish. It doesn't seem like an overly ambitious list, but at the end of the day, they are not finished and staying late. Maybe even taking their work home with them. Blech!
A list of tasks may sound like a good way to stay organized and productive, but if you don't focus on the right things, that list can become your ball-and-chain.
I like to take a more organic approach. A prioritized list ensures I don't stay at work all night.
The first thing I do is make a list of things that absolutely HAVE to get done this day. That allows me to leave time for those unexpected interruptions. Once I am done with the have-to-dos, I fill the rest of my day up with the things that are not so urgent.
But most importantly, once I put the time in that I was planning to work for the day, that's it! Unless there is a special circumstance, it is time to leave. I got the important things done and maybe a few other back-burner items done.
The truth is, your employer will take whatever you give them. If you stay 60 hours a week, they will take it. If you give them 40 hours a week, well that's what you signed up for. Your time is valuable, make sure you are spending it wisely.
Contact me if you still need help coming up with a personalized time management plan. I'd be happy to help!
Kyle, owner of MyClearPath.