Fast Company: Three Steps to Stop the Game of “When” at Work

When I was little, my friends and I played variations of the game “When!” We held our breath until someone yelled, “When!” Kept our eyes wide open until someone shouted, “When!”

I’m reminded of this game when I’m helping a group of employees optimize their work+life fit and someone will say, “Yeah, my work is done for the day and I want to leave the office, but I don’t want to be the first one to get up and I don’t want to leave before my boss.” In other words, they are waiting for someone else to say, “When!”

But two things happen. First, everyone else is waiting and watching not wanting to make the first move. And, further complicating matters, are those few people in the office who can and want to stay later, therefore, unintentionally raising the bar for everyone else. So, how do you leave, assuming you are at a good stopping point with your work, whether or not anyone else is?

Challenge the “Yeah, But … “

This “yeah, but … ” fear of leaving before your peers and/or boss is one of the primary work+life fit roadblocks that I address in chapter 10 of my book. To move past it, here’s a three step process that I use in my workshops.

Step 1) Determine if the “yeah but, I can’t leave before my peers/boss leaves” fear is based on fact. (Click here for more)