Update 10th Sep 2020

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It’s an interesting question, and one that’s designed to get to the bottom of that all important seesaw that is the work-life balance. With many offices and workplaces clocking off at the magic hour of 5pm we’re going to take a look at how adhering to this rigid cutoff can make you more or less productive.

Your Mind Needs a Target

By having a rigid finishing time you can push yourself to get more done, provided you’ve laid a solid foundation to the working day in the form of an organised approach. Simply setting a leaving time isn’t enough if your work is in disarray and you have mountains of to-do lists scattered all over your desk. Stay organised and shape your day so that it dovetails towards the 5pm finish you have in mind. You’ll be amazed at how much quicker you power through those little jobs like email responses and mailing off reports that can so easily drag on into the next day.

You Need Some Release

The great thing about a rigid finishing time is that when you approach the working day the right way you can use it as the big juicy carrot you’re working towards. By powering on when others sit back and waste time on Facebook you’ll be able to enjoy the release from your work when the clock strikes 5 all the more. This is a great way to motivate yourself and gives you the burst of energy to keep on chipping away on those days where motivation is a bit more of a battle than a procession.

Let Your Batteries Recharge

Too many of us fall into the trap of believing that being busy is the same thing as being productive. In reality the two can be poles apart at times so it’s vital that you keep track of which camp you fall into. Checking your work email every 15 minutes as you play on your phone all evening may make you think that you’ll be seen as a real go-getter at work who powers through everything, but really you’re being busy rather than productive. Think of work like you would a sports event. If you want to be at your best for the next match then you need to rest and recover the night before so that you feel fresh and ready to go. Work is exactly the same because whilst you’re not letting your muscles heal, you need to recharge your batteries so that your brain works at full capacity when you need it to most.

The Verdict

Productivity is all about managing your efforts so that you’re at your best when it really matters. An olympic athlete optimises their training so they peak when the gun goes off, and you should approach your work exactly the same. By making smart choices that allow you to focus during working hours, and unwind and keep your distance afterwards, you’ll be able to ensure you hit the ground running at the start of every working day. 

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