For many, the five-day, 40-hour workweek is a distant memory. More individuals are putting in 10 or more hours a day at the office than ever before. In fact, in a recent survey of 141 workers conducted by Steelcase, more than half of those polled said they work more than 40 hours a week. A third said they take work home at least one night a week. One way to avoid longer hours in the office is to prioritize your time and redefine your workplace parameters.
Here are some ways to make your workdays shorter and more productive:
• Limit phone calls. When under the gun, accept only important calls. Allow your assistant (if you have one) to field the others, but return missed calls within 24 hours.
• Call at choice times of the day. Initiate phone calls just before lunch, or near the close of the day when the other party is more likely to keep the conversation brief.
• Handle a piece of paper only once and act on it immediately. Don’t move it from one pile to another.
• Work from a to-do list. Take 10 minutes each morning and list everything you need to accomplish. Check them off as they’re completed.