Why don’t you just GO HOME?

May 23, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

Dog go home... I know your secret because it’s mine, too: even busy, hard-working people finish everything they need to.  We (well, if you’d call me hard working) get to a point where we could do more work, but no deadline or emergency has tied us to our desks.   The best thing in this circumstance is to leave work and do something else.

The fact that I have to spell this out and even write this post is the problem.  Face it: many of us are little worker bees who don’t feel right about taking a break during traditional business hours.

It’s craziness–consider the following questions:

  • Have you worked late any nights this week?
  • Have you worked any weekends?
  • When you have deadlines, do you always meet them?
  • Have you finished the projects you needed to today?

If you answered yes to most of those then don’t pressure yourself to find something to do.  If you don’t have pressing projects, then you’ll probably get frustrated  for not making much progress on the little you need to accomplish.  After all, you’re a hard worker; why not take a break?

So that’s the whole story here: you work a lot and you don’t have to keep working now, so just get the heck away.  Rather than operating at 25% and feeling like you didn’t get anything done this afternoon, leave now and make the most of your day.

I know I need to remind myself this sometimes.  After all, productivity should be more for your sake than your employer’s.

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12 Responses to “Why don’t you just GO HOME?”

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  1. Bob

    I once talked to an independent consultant who told me that he could not be a salaried / exempt employee because he would never have a reason to go home (when the hours ran out).

  2. Elizabeth

    I used to have a problem with going home on Fridays (on time or early) without having something else already lined up to do. I call it the Friday Afternoon Crazy Crash. After a week of working non-stop and being stressed out it’s hard to transition to relaxation without an activity in place, especially if friends haven’t gotten off work yet (or are napping). After years of spinning my wheels on Friday afternoons, I finally realized that there’s nothing wrong with watching an hour of mindless television, reading a guilty-pleasure book, or going to the mall by myself after work to make the mental transition to the weekend. Then, by 6 or 7pm plans have been made for the weekend and I’m back in the safety of scheduled time.

  3. Jared Goralnick

    Bob, poor guy was missing the point. There are always going to be golden handcuffs in our lives. The key is to recognize that they’re still handcuffs.

    Elizabeth, you bring up a good point–without a seemingly “justifiable” reason to leave it’s hard to. But the reason should always be ourSELVES. We get caught up in the treadmill of work that we forget how nice it really is to relax for a moment.

    Thank you both for the comments!

  4. Meryl K. Evans

    I thought something was wrong with me… because I rarely worked overtime… but I worked 7am to 4pm with nary a lunch break. Once in a while I’d run an errand. Usually, I ate at my desk since I didn’t want to go out.

    But maybe I got things done and faster than most. For one thing, I didn’t have to deal with a bunch of phone calls… few people want to bother calling someone who’s deaf through the relay.

    I must’ve done something right because I have my own business and it’s going well. If I were lazy or a clockwatcher, I’d think my one-person business wouldn’t go well.

  5. Jared Goralnick

    I’m glad you’ve got a great handle on time management, Meryl! Distracted people like me could use a little more of your discipline!

  6. Meryl K. Evans

    Thanks, Jared. Always been an organized freak. Good thing… bad thing. Most freelancers have to be disciplined or else they starve or not make a decent living.

  7. Sonia Simone

    I thought this was very smart advice when I thought it was written today, then I saw it was written on Friday. Even better advice!

    The office was really nice and quiet today, though.

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