Instead of starting the workday by making a long list of things to do and then realising that you will be staying late to get everything accomplished, start at the end. Block out in your diary the time you will be leaving the office (say, 5:30pm), and then work backwards to plan your day to accomplish the necessary tasks.
- Knowing you only have a fixed number of hours available helps you focus on the critical tasks for the day and avoid wasting time.
- Treat the finishing time as immovable – if something urgent comes up, rearrange, delegate or defer other tasks to make time.
- Your children will appreciate having dad home earlier each day.