How To Be Productive On Half-Days At Work
Posted on November 21, 2017
Many companies (like mine) have half-days before long weekends or weekends where Monday is a holiday. Most offices are open from 9AM to 1PM on those half-days. It’s not easy to be proactive when your time is sliced in half. Here are some tips on how to be productive at work:
- Avoid the Surfing Phase. Every morning we all get into the office and go to our favorite websites – Facebook, CNN, fashion blogs, etc. On half-days make it a point NOT to surf the internet. Put together your to-do list and get to work.
- Understand Your Bosses Expectations. Everyone in the office knows it’s a half-day but they probably also know how much work there is to be done. In today’s workplace culture, people would work 24/7 if we let them. If you have larger projects to work on – ask your boss what their expectations are. “How much of this did you want me to get done today?” Ask these questions at the beginning of the day or even the day before to prevent these topics from popping up last minute.
- Set Reasonable Goals. You only have five hours to work. Set realistic expectations for yourself and try not to get side-tracked. You want to feel accomplished at the end of the day – not stressed. The goal is to leave the office by 1PM feeling like you did great work so you can go enjoy your weekend.
- Ignore Email. Obviously there are some emails you can’t ignore – from bosses or high priority clients. However, a large percentage of the emails we get in are junk and don’t require immediate attention. Just because it’s in your inbox doesn’t mean you need to answer right away – it’s not a race. Focus on your to-do list and not on your inbox.
- Bring a Snack – Skip Lunch. I’m not trying to sound like a slave driver with this one. Taking lunch on a half-day is something that will probably just end up stressing you out at the end of the day. Bring a lunch or bring a snack and you can eat right after work. Use the extra time to get focused.
- Reduce or Eliminate Meetings and Calls. If you do have control of your schedule, try to eliminate as many calls and meetings as possible. Something unknown always pops up on half-days. Instead of being stressed by that, plan for it. Make it a light day so that you can handle any urgent matters that come up.
- Make a 2PM Plan. Many work-a-holics stay in the office and work full-days on half-days. Most companies only allow 4-6 half-days per year. Use them when you can. It’s the world telling you to take a break. If you have somewhere to be at 2PM it will help you move quickly and get out of the office.
- You Don’t Have To Be Done, You Just Need A Stopping Point. I’m convinced that we will never be done working. I don’t know what done looks like and I honestly don’t think “done” really exists – at least not with most jobs. Get over the idea of being completely done – it doesn’t exist. Instead, focus on setting goals and accomplishing them.
- Plan For A Sunday Catch-Up. If you find yourself constantly getting nervous or thinking that you didn’t complete something or forgot to respond to an email. Decide ahead of time that