by Matt Alderton | January 12, 2017
A 40-hour workweek isn't always a reality. With a little planning, however, it should be possible more often, according to Fast Company contributor Lisa Rabasca Roepe.

"If you're getting ready to go on vacation or you're working on a big project, you might need to clock more than 40 hours a week, but as a general rule, 40 hours a week should be sufficient to get your job done," insists Roepe, who says most people work long hours because they feel like they should -- not because their boss actually told them to. "Many people make assumptions about what their boss wants without ever testing the waters to find out if it's true."

To "test the waters" on a 40-hour workweek, you'll need to work not only shorter, but also smarter, according to Roepe. That means accomplishing more tasks in less time, which is easier to do if you eliminate distractions like email and text message notifications.

"The simplest way to leave work on time is to turn off your computer's email notifications and shut off your smartphone while you're working on a project," explains Roepe, who says, "It's common to receive a distracting email that takes you away from your goal for the day."

Even as you turn off notifications, consider turning on an alert.

"Set an alert on your calendar 30 minutes before quitting time to remind yourself to wrap up your work and get ready to leave," Roepe concludes. "Before you walk out the door, reflect on everything you've accomplished and review your tasks for the next day."

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.