Losing an hour of sleep in the morning may not sound all that attractive to the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. worker. But getting a little less shut eye in an effort to head to work earlier can have a positive impact on your career and work-related stress level. Being one of the first faces that managers and colleagues see when they enter the office creates an impression that you're a hard worker dedicated to helping the company succeed.
Depending on where you live, your commute to the office can be a breeze or a nightmare. For those who live in congested areas, leaving for work an hour earlier means not having to share the road with the hundreds or thousands of other people heading to their office or the rushed parents and school buses dropping children off at school. By avoiding the frustrating stop-and-go traffic that accompanies rush hour, you can arrive at work in a better mood. Plus, the less time you're on the road, the more money you'll save in gas.
While your boss may not be there to greet you when you arrive early, your office email will be. Any correspondence that you put off answering the day before or any new messages that arrived after hours can be taken care of prior to getting immersed in other job duties. Email messages most likely will continue to fill your inbox throughout the day, but by tackling the backlog when you first arrive at your desk, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed by the deluge of unopened messages that otherwise would be calling for your attention by the day's end.
Companies expect productivity from their workers and because of this, employees' workdays are packed with assignments, projects and meetings. When you throw in phone calls and emails back and forth to clients or colleagues, a worker has very little wiggle room to complete their job duties. By coming into work early, before the phones start ringing and work-related problems arise, you can plan out your day's schedule. Make a list of clients and managers that may need to be contacted during the day, take note of meetings that will eat into your work time and prioritize projects based on deadlines. As you accomplish each task on your list, cross it off. A well thought-out schedule, can make all the difference between feeling in control and feeling at the mercy of whatever the day throws at you.
An employee who is consistently on the job before others gives the impression of being a hard worker. In today's cut-throat work environment, an employee needs to do whatever she can to separate herself from the pack and stick out in her supervisor's eyes. Combining an early entrance with a late exit seals this impression as someone dedicated to her job. Being "married" to your job may not be ideal in balancing work-life issues, but often with any career, sacrifices made early on can pay off later in the form of promotions and higher pay.
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