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The New Habit Challenge: How Can Setting Time Limits For Work Make Us More Productive?

Join our resident habit expert Rachel Gillett and other Fast Company editors on Friday, November 21 at 11 a.m. EST as we discuss what happened when we set some boundaries.

When it comes to work, we often feel like we need to go on for hours without stopping—but how productive are we actually being at the 11th hour?

As we’ve heard time and again, “busyness” does not equate to productivity, and one expert believes that while we may be able to work a few 60-hour weeks, eventually we will be so burnt out at the end that we lose the ability to be creative and innovative.

Rather than keep going for hours into the night, writer Belle Beth Cooper suggests we save the most important stuff for first thing in the morning and set a firm cut-off time for work each evening. This, she says, is a good motivator to get important things done more quickly.

But what happens when your time is up and you’re in the middle of a task? According to Cooper, stopping while you’re in the midst of a task could actually work to your benefit. Many famous writers like Ernest Hemingway and Roald Dahl stopped writing mid-sentence or mid-paragraph, which made it much easier for them to pick up the pen again the next day.

For this week's habit challenge, several of us at Fast Company plan to see if the antidote for drained productivity is to set a firm cut-off time for work each evening and quit working while we’re ahead.

Join us for a live chat at 11 a.m. EST on Friday, November 21 to find out if we can get more done when we set time limits for our work.

Did you try setting boundaries for yourself? Tell us about your experience in the "make a comment" box below or join in the discussion on Friday.