Burning the Midnight Oil: 3 Types of People that Stay Late (and the Only Ones that Should)

It’s a trick question. There is no one that should stay past 5 o’clock in my opinion. Not small business owners, not “omg it broke and I’ll get fired if I don’t fix it” and not you. If you can’t seem to leave on time, it means you have a problem and the solution is not staying later. Guess what, no matter when you leave, when you come back the next morning, you are going to pick up EXACTLY where you left off!
  1. The people that can’t delegate or say “no”
    • Whether you’re a manager or a team member, you’re taking on too much work. You need to learn how to say no, I can’t take on more and admit your limits. Even if it’s a client, there are things like process documentation or change management communication that you can ask them to help with. People usually are team players and will do what they can.
  2. The people that can’t manage their time
    • Who do you ask when you get stuck if you’re the only one in the office? If you wait to ask key questions, test critical components, or . If you’re on step 5 at 3:30pm and get all this work done until you need the password from the IT guy at step 20 at 7:00pm, guess what, you’re stuck. S/he went home and if you had just looked ahead to see the bottlenecks, then you wouldn’t have wasted your time.
  3. The people that can’t set realistic expectations
    • If you work too much you’re probably afraid of under delivering but the culprit may be over promising. I know I struggle with this one when something is needed you want to jump on it right away and give a deadline. At first it sounds realistic, but after a couple hours you find out just how difficult it is. Try saying “Let me get back to you in x hour/days on that” after you’ve done a real analysis. Then you and all parties involved won’t be holding their breath.

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