Working longer hours doesn’t create better results, according to Morten Hansen of the University of California, Berkley.
Early in his career, Hansen believed that working 90 hours per week was the secret to success. But he noticed some colleagues worked less, much less, but achieved better results. But, why?
That question spurred a five-year study involving 5,000 managers and employees. Hansen found that job performance increases stopped at the 50-hour mark and sharply declined after 65 hours.
Hansen found that the best workers relentlessly focus on the activities that produce the most value for their organization. They weren’t just being busy, they were actually accomplishing something.
Some strategies for leaving on time:
Focus on planning the day and week to remove the most common reasons for overworking, according to The Ladders. Meetings, phone calls, and emails fill up a schedule, but don’t necessarily end in results.
Schedule times for work and play during a given day. This removes some of the urge to procrastinate during scheduled work hours.
Create a hard deadline for exiting the office by making an appointment with a personal trainer or a reservation for dinner. Let your coworkers know you have a firm leave time.
Guilt and the perceived importance of putting in a certain amount of time relative to peers is a potent factor that often leads to overwork, according to The Motley Fool.
Unfortunately, many company cultures have been built around long work days, and it can quickly feel like a person is walking out on their team or shirking their responsibilities. Instead of the guilt, focus on making the best use of time during work hours and accomplishing real results.
Discuss priorities on projects with the boss and then make a plan to accomplish them.