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One of the main issues of running a business is that old friend ‘Procrastination’ that comes creeping in every so often. A whopping 246,000 businesses closed down in 2014. We’re not suggesting that these business all closed down from a lack of productivity, as factors such as bad management and inadequate funding are the main culprits. However, it is likely that one of the main contributing factors of these closures is a lack of productivity somewhere down the line.

There are so many things you can do to increase your productivity. So many in fact that we had to include them in a different post! You can see the full list here. But there’s one secret we haven’t disclosed, because it really is the ultimate way to be productive as soon as you walk in the office.

Leave Your Wor…

The real secret to walking into your office, sitting down and being productive for the whole day is to leave your work unfinished when you clock off for the night. If you’ve got a lengthy report to file, don’t complete it before you leave the office, even if you have the time and motivation.

Leaving bits of work until the next day will allow you to start from exactly where you left off, meaning you walk in with a definitive objective, minimising the amount of time you spend chatting and making brews.

Stop Procrastinating!

If you’re used to leaving work last minute, then this could be the answer to stop you procrastinating. Walking away from an unfinished project is hard for anyone, so you’ll be able to walk right back up to it and finish it.

Once you have finished the work, you’ll be more likely to begin a new project as you’ll have a fresh mind full of fresh ideas! Leaving work unfinished will also allow you to look over it with a fresh mind in the morning, and catch any mistakes before you send them to your boss.

Avoid Mental Blocks

Although you may feel like you’re being productive when you’re on a roll, you’re actually using all your energy at once, and when you’ve finished you’ll end up in a slump where you procrastinate before beginning a new project.

Avoid these mental blocks by stopping halfway through your work and saving some of your valuable energy. This will help you build momentum to finish the piece, and continue working afterwards.

Who Does It Work Best For?

This method is helpful for people working in an office, where distracting yourself can be tempting. However, it’s a great method for any profession and any business! Freelancers and small business owners alike can benefit from allowing themselves to come back to work at a later date.

Yoko Ono was a big fan of leaving work unfinished; “I always believed that my work should be unfinished in the sense that I encourage people to add their creativity to it, either conceptually or physically.” So even for artists, unfinished work can be motivational.


Of course, there are some that might be inclined to take this to the extreme by leaving work incomplete until the deadline is very close. Obviously, we don’t advise that you do this! Keep your head when you’re making the decision about when you should finish the work.

We also don’t advise that you leave your accounts unfinished. HMRC won’t be happy if you send in an incomplete Tax Return, so stay safe and send them to us!

Have you tried leaving work unfinished? Or have you got your own secret to productivity? Leave a comment in the section below!

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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