How to get home from work earlier

Interested in getting home from work earlier?

Implement this productivity tip that will help you to focus and get more done. Here it is:

Think in the morning. Talk in the afternoon.

Focus on your priorities

Work on your most important projects in the mornings.  Schedule your people time in the afternoons.

Many of us spend our mornings in meetings. By doing this, we lose precious hours of focus. The few hours that we have prior to lunch are critical hours when we are often most alert and have the most potential to get things done. By focusing during the morning hours you can make advances on your highest priorities and most challenging tasks. Afternoons are a good time to schedule meetings. After focusing on your most important tasks all morning, you can  focus on people time in the afternoon. This may not be possible for you all of the time but even small strides in this area can make you more productive. Here are a few steps for moving in this direction:

1. Take control of your schedule.

A lot of people are vying for your time. If you aren’t careful, your schedule might end up being completely controlled by other people. In light of this reality, I seldom schedule meetings for the current week that I am in. Instead, I always set my schedule on Friday for the following week. By doing this, I can plan focused time for projects in the morning, and meetings in the afternoons. Instead of allowing others to control my morning schedule, I am always working one week ahead. For more about this, check out my post “How to take Control of your Crazy Schedule.”

2. Write down your three most important tasks (MIT’s) for tomorrow before you finish work today.

Plan tomorrow morning before you go home today. When you get started tomorrow morning, focus on your MIT’s before anything else.

3. Don’t open your email first thing in the morning.

One negative email can hijack all of your productivity in a given day. Consider, instead, spending 30 minutes immediately before lunch to power through your inbox, and 30 minutes at the end of your day doing the same. Email can control all of your time. Don’t let it by starting your day with email.

4. Use your mornings to write, think, create vision, prepare sermons, and work on the organization.

When planning your schedule take advantage of those morning hours to do your best work.

5. Set your meetings for lunch time and beyond.

Commit to your MIT’s in the morning and then schedule people time in the afternoons. By doing this, you will have already been a creative visionary. Now you can focus on your meetings without worrying about all of the other things that you have to do.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment.

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Posted by Brian Howard

My focus is to help YOU move forward one step at a time. I write about church excellence, personal productivity, and family leadership. I coach leaders, start churches, and help organizations break growth barriers. My goal is to draw on this experience to help YOU move forward in life, leadership, and productivity.

  1. Might this be a very good strategy for an introvert but, in stark contrast, be counter-productive for an extrovert?

    I can imagine an introvert feeling energised by having quieter, more structured time working on their own in the first half of the day. However, for an extrovert like me, this strategy sounds like it’d have me struggling by late-morning and feeling desperate to get out and have some contact with people by midday!

    Surely an extrovert will feel energised and ready to attack the tasks that they need to work on independently by having people time in the first half of the day?

    All that said, I’m going to give it a go for a week


    1. Tim,

      I would suggest that this strategy is MOST important for those who are extroverted. The goal is not for you to feel energized but for you to do the work of planning, vision, etc. while you are fresh. In doing this you are focusing on the important rather than the urgent. Extroverts often continually surround themselves with people. (Sometimes too much) Think in the morning and then you can party for the rest of the day. 🙂 Mid morning, take a break and go hang with people for a few minutes if you are going crazy!


      1. I prefer to do this M-W-F, but (because 1-on-1 discipling IS one of my MITs), I specifically schedule face time with men on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I have a difficult time, as a pastor, in relegating the Lord’s sheep in my care to my second-best time. BUT It certainly IS critical to hold careful control over my own schedule, and scheduling next week’s meetings and projects this week is a terrific discipline.


  2. […] Brian Howard on How to get home from work early. […]


  3. […] One wise practice for keeping a sane schedule is to actually plan your schedule in advance. By planning on Friday for the coming week, you are less likely to have your schedule hijacked and are more likely to accomplish your highest priorities. For most pastors, I recommend three, four-hour morning time blocks for sermon preparation. This might look something like Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 8-12. I have previously written a post that outlines the principle of thinking in the morning and talking in the afternoons. […]


  4. I agree that I focus best in the morning. But how do you juggle that many people can only meet in the morning before work? As a pastor my schedule is more flexible than most.


    1. David,

      I think that this needs to be implemented with grace rather than rigorously. Perhaps cutting out even some of your morning meetings would be a big help, or doing them only on certain days.


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