Does your boss constantly ask you to work late hours? Many companies experience tight deadlines and high seasons, but if you are forced to work more than 50 hours a week, it hurts you in the long run. Not only your productivity drops and work-life balance suffers, but also your well-being and physical health are affected. So, how do you break the circle and stop working late hours every day?
Working late nights every day has little to do with productivity and loyalty to the employer – even if it’s explained to you this way. Some bosses believe that more hours at the computer equals more work done, and some just want to show off the result in front of their supervisor. Anyway, if you work 10-12 hours a day not to advance your career but because it’s how things work in your organization, it does you any good. In case you need help to write a CV and apply for the company that values your well-being, you’re in the right place.
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So, here you might say “I work 60 hours a day and I’m perfectly okay with that because I love my job”. The truth is, this isn’t going to last forever. Even you consider yourself as a workaholic, spending days and nights at your desk will have negative consequences anyway. Here are the key reasons why working a lot is bad for you:
In certain cases, however, late hours are not a solid reason to quit – for instance, if working late is temporary or if you stay late because you cannot organize your time. Below, you’ll find a list of strategies that will help you perform well without the need to stay in the office till 10 pm:
As a rule, our tasks at work have different priorities. Some can be postponed while the others need our immediate attention and effort. Unfortunately, these are the tasks we often procrastinate on as working on them seems unpleasant or even dreadful.
To get more done for the same amount of time, start your day with fulfilling the most important and unpleasant task. Eat the frog first. You’ll get an energy boost for completing other tasks and get rid of stress for the rest of the day.
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If the entire office is working late not because of procrastination but due to the external reason, you might need to bring up the subject to the management. Maybe, there is so much work to do that the company needs to hire more staff or the vendors are constantly late with the information your department’s work depends on. Probably, too much time is spent on meaningless meetings or the working process needs to be reorganized. In either case, have a talk with your boss and colleagues to identify the root causes and figure out the solution for the late nights’ issue. Moreover, if you take initiative and come up with a sensible solution, your initiative will be rewarded by management.
To get more things done for the same period of time, consider coming to the office an hour before the working day starts. Firstly, you’ll avoid the office hustle and chitchat, deeply focusing on the task itself which is especially important if your work is creative. Therefore, you’ll get a lot done by the time people only start showing up. Secondly, if you are running late time after time, being the first to come to the office will make a positive impression on your boss. And finally, you’ll be eligible for an early leave since you’ve been working longer than anyone else.
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Not only a noisy colleague from the cubicle next to you can be a major distraction – a smartphone is a well-known productivity killer either. Studies have shown that smartphone makes us less focused even if it simply lies next to a laptop at work. So, to avoid getting distracted and interrupted all the time, put your phone in a silent mode and put it away. A few messages and Facebook comments can wait an hour or two. As you are more focused on doing your job, you’ll likely complete more for the same time.
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If you want to sleep tight and sustain that work-life balance, never agree with unachievable deadlines. Chances are that you’ll have to work days and nights and your commitment will be taken as a given. If the manager convinces you to complete an urgent project within an unrealistic time frame, give a grounded explanation why the task needs more time and beat the temptation to show off. Not sure how long a particular task will take you? Start tracking your time at work to understand how long each type of work is taking you as you work in a usual mode. If you agree to tight deadlines once, they’ll believe that this is your normal productivity and you won’t manage to convince them later why you need six hours for the task which was once done in four.
Working in the office is all about collaboration and allocation of all resources to get the job done on time. If you’re a manager up in your ears at work, delegate the secondary or non-urgent tasks to your directs to focus on strategic responsibilities. The desire to keep everything in control will only strengthen the stress you experience and make your working day longer. If you’re an employee and don’t know how to handle a particular task, don’t be shy to ask for help. It’s a way more sensible to ask for advice and complete it in 30 minutes than to spend two hours puzzling over how to approach the issue.
To make the collaboration at all levels really fruitful, you need to maintain positive interactions and be on a good note with those working next to you (here’s how you can achieve that: http://resumeperk.com/blog/how-to-be-on-good-terms-with-colleagues).
Have you ever been in a situation when you feel busy all the day and still by 5 pm you find out that nearly not everything was completed? Then, chances are that you spread your efforts on the run rather than concentrating them, get distracted and not really focus at anything. Your first go-to rule is to do one thing at a time. If you write a blog post, analyze the sales figures or write code, don’t distract to anything else – emails, phone calls and new task from your boss can wait for an hour or so. Next, group the similar tasks and fulfill them altogether rather than return to them a few times a day. For example, you can answer the incoming mail in the morning or evening and avoid checking inbox every 15 minutes. Use these tips for effective email writing to make sure that the letters you compose bring results. This strategy works for all types of tasks – by doing them in groups, you don’t multitask and hence work more effectively.
Using the tips below will help you get more organized and use the business hours efficiently. Eliminating the distractors, creating a plan and prioritizing tasks are half the battle in getting job done before 5 pm. But what if all the above doesn’t work and you still spend over 10 hours a day at the desk? Then, the problem might be in your boss or the way business processes are organized in your company. If you can’t maintain a healthy work-life balance, it makes sense to quit.
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