The 4.00pm productivity trigger.

The appeal of home time can often suppress output.

As time creeps towards 5.00pm, and you begin planning the rest of your evening, the ease of leaving the last tasks of the day for future you becomes a more attractive option, that we are all guilty of accepting.

“I will look at it in the morning” is a phrase that I have said to myself more than I would like to admit.

But do those task get completed? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Either way, those tasks that we leave for tomorrow, or next week, now irreversibly eat into tomorrow’s productivity, next week’s productivity. As soon as we hit 3.00pm the next day, and are stretching our capacity limits, that lackadaisical hour we spent the day before planning dinner, or browsing our favourite websites, now becomes an instant regret.

There is a simple solution; commit as much focus and determination to that last hour of work as you do the first.

Recently I set a recurring 4.00pm reminder on my calendar — “power hour”. Setting myself that trigger, developing that habit of conscious effort, has allowed me to yield productivity until home time, and improve my performance tremendously. Tidying up my inbox, finishing off a report, or even the simple task of decluttering my office that I have been meaning to do for weeks — all harvests future work flow capacity. All thanks to that 4.00pm prompt, to generate a final efficient hour to the day.

Trial it tomorrow. Reap the reward the day after.