I recently read an article in USA Today that got me thinking. It said long hours and hard work doesn’t equal success. But, isn’t that what we have always been told? To work long and hard and the rewards will come?
There are many employers and business owners who live and work by this philosophy and think that by putting in an 80-hour week, they are hard workers. Some believe the harder you work, the more successful you will become. But, that just isn’t always the case. According to a recent article on the Harvard Business Review, working more than 50 hours a week has been correlated with less sleep and physical activity, job dissatisfaction, and worse job performance.
One way to stop – or at least slow down – killing yourself at work is to work smarter, not harder. So, try these three tips below to help you achieve the success you desire for your business without putting yourself into the grave.
Say No When You Can.
One of the biggest problems employers and business owners have is the inability to say no to work-related issues. Sometimes, the drive, ambition, and high expectations of yourself and your team don’t allow you to know when there’s too much on your plate. So, instead of thinking you have super human powers, say no when you start feeling overwhelmed. Ask questions to fully understand the purpose of any new project and its benefits, and evaluate processes to simplify what you can. Hand projects off to a team member when you can. For those who have trouble deciphering between the really important projects and the ones that aren’t, experts suggest asking yourself one question, “what’s the worst that can happen if I say no?” So, start asking yourself questions and just say no to unnecessary projects, meetings, and busy work.
Schedule a Meeting with Yourself.
When you lead a team or you own a business, it’s tough to find some quality time for yourself to focus on tasks when you’re managing others and putting out fires. Instead of waiting for the last worker to go home before you get some quiet time to complete your work assignments, block out some time on your calendar for yourself. You can schedule it daily, weekly, or monthly, but once you make the commitment to have a meeting with yourself, stick to it. Having that one-on-one time will do wonders for your workload.
Hire More Staff.
If you’re really struggling to find enough hours in the workday to finish projects and your staff is also feeling overwhelmed, then it might be time to hire more staff members. You certainly don’t want work to suffer just because you think you can do it all by yourself. If hiring someone full time isn’t an option, try outsourcing some projects on a short-term basis to help with an overflowing workload. You will not only feel less stressed about the mounds of work piling up on your desk, but you will be able to focus more on your other projects, feel more productive, and may even have a little more time for your life outside of work.
Working harder does not mean you will be more successful or that you will get more work done. By working smarter, you will be able to get more quality work accomplished and have more quality time for other things you enjoy. So, implement these three tips to see just how much more successful you can be in your job.