Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Don't Stay Late - Go Home!

As a leader, how are you looking after your own well-being?

Do you control your work hours or are they starting to control you? More people are staying late at work and suffering because of it.  Are you one of them?  Before you have dinner at your desk (Yet again!), try these three things:
  • Know your priorities. When deciding whether to stay and finish a task or put it aside until the next day, remember what your priorities are. If the task furthers your professional and personal goals, then it may be worth putting in the extra time.  And be honest.  Not all tasks further your goals.
  • Agree on expectations at home. Discuss your work hours with the people closest to you—your partner, spouse, or friends—to be sure your expectations are aligned.  Disappointments and resentments can be growing at home and you're not there to 'nip them in the bud'.
  • Talk about it at work. Make it clear that you are willing to stay late if there is a legitimate reason, such as a specific deadline. But emphasize that this should be the exception, not the rule.  The same is true of your staff.  You need to attend to their well-being as much as your own.

Adapted from "Should You Stay Late or Go Home?" by Ron Ashkenas.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I read this after I finished eating my lunch in the car on the way to the school I was working at this afternoon. I think as leaders,we often take the time to remind others how important it is to take time for yourself, but rarely do we take our own advice.
    I definitely agree with the statement above, " honest. Not all tasks further your goals." I think this is an extremely important point to remember because often times we try and get involved in everything, but we need to step back and prioritize what initiatives, committees, etc. we want and need to be on, and then think about building capacity in others by allowing other people to lead. I find the whole notion around finding a balance, somewhat of a figment of our imagination! But like many of you, I enjoy doing the work that I do. So, when it spills over into my "personal time", it is because I want to continue working. But, there are limits, and often times I go over them :)