You’ve already proved you can work smarter and remain productive. To avoid getting sucked back into always-on mode, here are nine work-life hacks that are used in the Men’s Health office.
- Keep your work calendar updated, including blocks of time for heads-down work. Less “free time” equals fewer time sucks.
- Set your phone’s alarm for the scheduled end time of any meeting that might run over. When it goes off, it will signal that time is up, alerting the meeting organizer in a way that won’t blow back on you.
- If you get an hour for lunch, stop working for an hour and recharge. The workday is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Set a hard leave time by booking a workout class or joining a carpool. A commitment is a commitment.
- No slack after 6pm unless it’s urgent (and really urgent). Otherwise, send an email and know you might not get a reply until 9am.
- Don’t ask for “a day off” on short notice. Instead, tell your boss you need a mental-health day. (It’s generally also true.)
- Use the “send later” function with email. That way, you’re done but don’t set the expectation that others need to respond after working hours.
- Don’t spend all day at your desk. Move around the office, or step out for an hour to 1 work at a coffee shop if you need some space.
- Be tactical after 4:30pm and save an easy win (say, good news about a project) for tomorrow morning. It’s a great way to look 110 percent more productive.