Many people, including myself are guilty of devoting far too many hours to their work, even when it becomes detrimental to other aspects of their lives. I lived with the assumption for the longest time, that if I worked longer hours, put in more time, and got more done than everyone else that I would be noticed more, and rewarded for my efforts. For a while this was true, when you’re in an entry level position going the extra mile will get you noticed, and will help you to advance quicker to the front line supervisor and management positions. This is true at that level, the harder you work, the faster you’ll be able to move up, because you’ll stand out.
Once you get to a middle or senior level management job though, this is no longer a part of your success. This occurs for a number of reasons.
Once you reach a middle management level position a few things change:
- The amount of people that depend on your work increases substantially.
- The impact your work makes on the rest of your team grows significantly.
- You carry a responsibility over a larger portion of the business.
- You will have substantially more stressors in your work life.
- You will already tend to have to be more available if an issue were to come up.
At this point, if you spend all of your time working and just try to accomplish a greater quantity of work than anyone else you’ll most likely find yourself burning out. As somebody who has burnt out multiple times so early in my career, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Secondly, this push to work the largest number of hours can cause 1 of 2 things to happen:
- You will try to accomplish a larger number of tasks than is expected.
- You will allow yourself more time than needed to complete each task.
Let’s look at why both scenarios can be detrimental to your success.
When you try to accomplish a larger number of tasks than you are expected to, or than you need to, some of these tasks will end up being an exercise in futility. If others did not need to do this to be successful in this position, then the probability that you NEED to do them is also low. Secondly, you will most likely find that the quality of your work will be lessened as it is nearly impossible to focus 100% for extended periods of time.
When you allow yourself more time than needed to complete a task you will most likely fall into yet another trap I’ve been guilty of many times. When I give myself too much time to accomplish a task, I begin to overthink things, and second guess myself. When either of these things happen, you may end up with a reduced quality of work, and less confidence in the end result versus had you complete the task in a more reasonable amount of time.
The moral of the story here, if that sometimes you need to take time for yourself, and remember that you only need to work as much as you need to work to complete your job effectively. Don’t put in a bunch of extra hours just because you think it will help you to stand out. There is people that look up to you at this level, and that’s not the impression you want to teach them either.
Until Next Time,
It’s finally here, we survived the 2010’s and made it through to a new year, a new decade, and most of all a new opportunity. This opportunity is whatever you make of it, the opportunity to be your best self, the opportunity to build a new career, the opportunity to build a new life!
Be your best self, stop setting unrealistic goals for yourself, like telling yourself that you’re all of a sudden going to go to the gym every day, or stop eating fast food, or quit smoking or drinking all of a sudden. This is unrealistic, and you’re just going to feel even worse when you inevitably fail. You will inevitably fail, unless of course you have an iron willpower, and if you do, I can assure you it wouldn’t take New Years for you to set a god damn goal and finally try to achieve something to better yourself.
Set a reasonable goal, and make a path of progression to get you there. Don’t expect changes overnight, don’t live in this imaginary place where the world is all butterflies and rainbows. The consumeristic society we live in spends literally millions of dollars a year to spend your money on what they want you to do, that won’t be stopping anytime soon. Set your goals with reasonable progression too, for example if you’re trying to start working out, commit to the following:
- January – Commit to 2 Workouts a Week, even if they aren’t the best workouts, just get yourself In there twice a week.
- February – Commit to 2 Workouts a Week, and a 3rd Day where you go for a scenic walk or hike.
- March – Increase your workouts to 3 times a week.
- April – Increase the intensity and length of your workouts.
- May – Increase to 4 Days a week.
5 Months later, you’ve built a routine that you should be able to stick to. It takes 21 days to build a solid habit, so in each of these months you’ve build easier habits, and added bit by bit as these small changes become habit as well.
This is your time to be your best self, don’t let it slip away. More than anything else, don’t be afraid to get some help. Have a friend keep you accountable, use an app to help you along the way. Personally I pay for an app that tracks my workouts, and an app that tracks habits and how I’ve performed, and the reminders drive me absolutely nuts.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to fail, is my example scenario there, a week in January where you only make it to the gym once isn’t a failure, it’s a week that is now over, and the next week is a new week for you to do your 2 workouts. 1 bad week doesn’t change your goal, it doesn’t change who you are. It’s a minor setback, so let’s treat it that way.
Let’s make this the best year yet. Comment below what your goals for 2020 are, I’ll be publicly posting mine later this month so every single one of you reading these can hold me accountable.
Onwards and Upwards.
I don’t know what it is nowadays, but everywhere I look I seem to find some new excuses. We’ve come to a point where most people would rather make excuses and give up, then go through some difficulty, and breakthrough.
To achieve what you dream of achieving in life perseverance is key. Nothing great ever happens without a bit of a struggle first. You need to buckle down and work through whatever gets in the way of your cause, and push through the pain. Not only will this allow to move closer to your end goal, little by little, and step by step, but you’ll come out the other side with a few new ideals:
- You’re stronger than you thought. You made it through the obstacles even though you had thoughts of giving up, again and again.
- Now that you’ve made it through this obstacle, all of the smaller obstacles that can get in your way next week will seem diminished by comparison.
- You’re now that much closer to achieving your dreams.
- You didn’t give up! You won! Take the win and relish in that for a moment. You may not be where you need to be, but you did achieve something!
Whatever the obstacle that gets in front of you in, stop making these excuses and just push forward. Be like the phoenix and rise again!
Until Next Time
Do whatever you do intensely – Robert Henri
We’ve talked a lot lately about focus, and giving 100% of your focus to every goal you set your mind to, but focus isn’t the only thing you need to be successful.
You need an intensity, a passion to achieve what you’re aiming to achieve to be the best at what you’re doing.
Whatever it is you’re doing, do it intensely channeling all the passion you have for what you’re doing into that one task at a time, and you’ll be amazed at what can be achieved.
You can’t devote 100% of your focus to a goal, without an intense desire to achieve that goal. If you desire something intensely enough, and channel your focus into that thing, anything that gets in your way will be but a hurdle rather than a full on obstacle, or worse yet that brick wall that you feel keeps you from continuing all together.
Let’s be intense, let’s desire nothing more than this one goal that we so intensely want to achieve, and let’s go forth this week knowing that we can achieve it.
Until Next Time!