If you are feeling overwhelmed, and your first response to that is to work longer hours, you are doing it wrong.
What to do instead:
- Find the most significant reason for being overwhelmed. Find the one thing that contributes to 80% (or most) of the workload stress. Classify that one thing as urgent, or critical, or none. Act accordingly.
- Set basic rules. I say no to all tasks that take up too much time but add significantly less value. I also adhere to a start and end time of my work-day; this is even more important during WFH.
- Don't be a hero. Don't take up more work than you should. Second - everything doesn't have to be perfect. As Sheryl Sandberg said, "Done is better than perfect." Answer this question to decide if you should put in more time or not: "What is the incremental value of spending more time on this task?"
- Delegate, whenever possible. Don't do tasks that don't deserve your time and attention. Yes, no job is too small, but some tasks are less critical and can be done by others. Identify such tasks, then find the right person to do it, and then delegate.
- Ask for help. There are more people than you think who are willing to help. All you need to do is ask.
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