It’s 3 p.m. on Friday and your mind has completely shut down.
With the weekend within your grasp, there doesn’t seem to be anything in the world that could possibly be more torturous than sitting at your cubicle for another two hours.
Your productivity level is nil and even attempting to do anything of value is counter-intuitive because you checked out hours earlier, during your lunch break.
Although you know you’ll accomplish nothing in the next 120 minutes, you’re forced to sit on your ass and feign like you’re contributing something positive. You smile at your co-workers in hopes that one of them says the magic words, “you can call it a week.”
It’s all such a waste of time and energy, but that’s life and you — like your parents and their parents before them —have come to accept this as reality.
It will always be this way, right?
You can master the art of getting out of the office early on Friday in four simple steps:
Show off your work
Remember: self-promotion is never a bad thing in life. There will always be haters out there who call you cocky or self-serving, but those are the same people who stick around until 5:30 on Fridays even after the boss has gone home.
Brown-nosing is an outdated model.
The real key to impressing the higher-ups at your company is letting them know what you’re doing as much as possible, especially on Fridays.
This means engaging with your boss at 10 in the morning, then again when he gets back from lunch, and then one more time around that 3 p.m. window. The goal is to keep reassuring him, without stating it overtly; that you’re doing your job and that you’re not behind on anything.
The more relentless you are with this first step, the easier skipping out on Fridays will become.
It sounds borderline masochistic, but not eating on Friday — or at least not leaving the office to eat — is really crucial when it comes to stepping out of the office early.
The reasoning behind this is simple: it’s basic math. If you’re paid to do eight or nine hours of work with a scheduled hour-long lunch break, then all you have to do is cut out that hour break and save yourself the 60 minutes come later in the day.
Plus, your co-workers won’t challenge you for being lazy or having a bad work ethic if you’re skipping lunch just to work more.
Soon enough your boss will catch wind that you’re SO dedicated to the job and he will make a subconscious note. This will ease him in a bit and get him ready for…
Eye contact and a direct question
If the previous two steps are simple, then this one is the really simple: just walk into your boss’s office, look him or her in the eye and ask if you can head out an hour early.
What do you have to lose? If he or she rejects the idea and dispatches you back to your cube, then you’re back at Square 1 — doing absolutely nothing but looking at your phone like a crack addict until the clock strikes five.
However, I’m willing to wager that if you’re direct in your request, then it will be accepted and you will be speeding out of the company parking lot in no time.
People in power love directness and they loath employees who beat around the bush. Whatever you say, deliver it with confidence. You’ll earn his or her respect over time at the very least.
Become a ninja
I bet you thought that I was going to say make up a lie or something of that nature, but that’s not what will get you out early on a consistent basis. A lie, like you have to pick your grandma up at the airport, only works once every other month.
What you should be aiming for is a routine 3 or 4 p.m. exit and in order to accomplish this goal, you have to become an extremely discreet individual.
It sounds like the opposite of step one, and that’s probably because it is. The noisy worker who’s constantly bragging about his work has to morph into an inconspicuous bro who can disappear on the drop of the dime without anyone noticing. This means not telling anybody that you’re leaving, which is a big risk, but it’s one you have to be willing to take.