Leave the Office Earlier by Laura Stack, MBA, CSP
4 stars out of 5
Naturally, when I read a book title like this I want to read it. Who doesn’t want to leave the office earlier? I’ve read many books similar to this, or so I thought, and I wondered if this would be the same; just broad principles without a lot of steps for action.
It is truly useful advice on reducing stress and improving time management in the office. The highlighter came out quite often in reading it.
It is almost 300 pages but the content is actually broken down into specific tactics for improving workplace time management and reducing stress, and organized into ten chapters. There was worthwhile info in each chapter. Since it was written in 2004 I thought that much of the data might be dated. While some of it mentioned things no longer in use like PDA’s, Blackberries, pagers, etc. each of the concepts were dead on for making your work life better.
From the forward:
Too often leaders focus on input rather than output. There are times when arriving early and staying late are necessary, but the real test of an employee’s abilities and commitment is an accomplishment. The proof is in the results, not the recorded hours.
And from the introduction:
Therefore, the problem isn’t time shortage; it’s time usage. It doesn’t matter how long you work; it’s how you work.
Each chapter covers one of the factors affecting personal productivity.
Preparation – planning and scheduling
Reduction – time leaks and speed bumps
Order – organization and systems
Discipline – persistence and behavior
Unease – overload and stress
Concentration – focus and attentiveness
Time Mastery – activity and self-management
Information Control – technology and tools
Vitality – physiology and self-care
Equilibrium – balance and boundaries
Leave the Office Earlier opens with a focus on planning – and not necessarily just short-term planning, but also long term goals. Without something to aim at, it’s hard to make progress towards anything.
The final chapter in the book is about work-life balance, something that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve worked plenty of jobs that I was way overqualified primarily because of work-life balance. Balance is key in making both parts of your life run like clockwork – if the balance gets loopy, both sides suffer.
Leave the Office Earlier is a very good book with a multitude of advice that is truly valuable. Many overlap with other books I’ve read, but Stack breaks it all down into specific steps to apply.
I don’t even think this book is about leaving the office earlier per se but just great tips for managing your life at the office. I’ve read tons of time management books – but there was still a message here to apply even though I’m already doing much of it.0