We are lead to believe that in order to achieve our career goals we need to work hard. Working hard usually means working long hours in order to get more work done in a day, but long hours tip the scales of our work-life balance. Suddenly, we find ourselves neglecting other important things like eating, exercise, sleep and spending time with loved ones. Instead of working longer hours to get work done, you should work smarter. Working smarter means you work more efficiently without having to work longer hours that may lead to stress and burn-out. On top of that, achieve a work-life balance is essential.
Avoid work stress by working smarter.
One way you can do it is to get yourself organized and prioritize your tasks. Organize your deadlines and plan out how you will get everything done. By organizing and prioritizing your list of projects by most important to least important, you will be able to get through the day more efficiently and can avoid the stress of not meeting deadlines. On top of that, you can avoid taking work home or staying late so you can work on that work-life balance. Realize that all your emails don’t need to be answered first thing in the morning as well. Instead, start your morning by working on your most important project of the day. The earlier you start on your prioritized list, the more time you’ll have to work on projects before their deadlines. In order to keep yourself organized consider investing in a planner or using the calendar on your email, smart phone or tablet.
Set limits for yourself.
As much as we’d like to be the all-around best employee in the office- the one that comes in first and leaves last- we need to realize that we have limits to our amount of performance output and usually have priorities outside our work to attend. Having unrealistic goals to reach are a major source of work stress and can really disrupt your work-life balance. Go easy on yourself and make the most progress by having one goal each week and one overall, major career goal. Having too many goals can cause work stress, so take the time to realize what you can get done in the time you have in order to give it the amount of time and energy it deserves from you.
Take care of your body.
People that work smart give their best work performance, and helping with their energy throughout the entire day is their healthy mind and body. Taking care of your physical and mental health will have major work performance pay-offs. Instead of feeling drained of energy from the unhealthy food you eat, or trying to avoid sleeping at your desk at 3 p.m. because you didn’t get enough sleep, start to sleep more and eat healthier. Part of this is achieving a great work-life balance, so keep that in mind.
Following these simple tips will certainly help you to start working smarter instead of harder. Put yourself and your body first and the rest will follow.
What are some things you do to avoid working too hard? Is work stress a concern of yours? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by stuartpilbrow