Working Harder Doesn’t Make You Smarter
I see it every day. Friends and co-workers running from one appointment to the next, trying to cram as much as they possibly can into their day:
Meet a buyer, pick up a sign, make 10 prospect calls before noon, create a new marketing campaign, post to Facebook fan page and the list goes on and on. But are we really getting ahead or just working harder?
I used to believe that I could multi task myself through the day. I was able to juggle multiple things at once, seamlessly moving from a client call to strategizing with employees on our next event. But times have changed. With the birth of social media, the barrage of email hitting our inbox and the increased needs of our clients, are we able to continue at this rapid pace?
I don’t think so. I think those of us driving our lives at such a reckless speed (and believe me – I am the WORST offender) are all on the verge of massive burnout.
We read books on working smarter, not harder and how to maximize our work week, making the most out of every moment. The problem with the “being everything to everyone” theory is threefold.
- We neglect us
- We neglect our family
- We wind up feeling worthless and frustrated because we’re not doing any one thing well
How do find balance in your work and personal life?
Step away from the computer – We are so tied to our computers these days; I often wonder what we did without them. Oh wait, I do remember. We used to sit in the backyard, barbecuing with friends and enjoying the moment. We didn’t worry about checking our smart phones every 5 minutes just in case we were needed to avert a crisis.
Unplug from technology and re-engage with life. I promise you – it will still be there when you get back.
Listen to your body – I spent time at my massage therapist this week (something I hadn’t done in months) because of ongoing pain in my neck and back. In fact, it had become so pronounced that I found myself frequently massaging my own shoulder. It was when I saw this picture from a speaking event in Chicago last week that I realized I had a big problem.
It was no surprise when my masseuse said to me – “the stress you’re putting on yourself is doing major damage to your body. You are holding in the stress and when you do that, your body has to find a way to deal with it.” So what was mine doing? Creating knots in my muscles that even an NFL linebacker with the strength of two 800 pound gorillas couldn’t work out.
Working Harder Doesn’t Make You Smarter – Working long hours doesn’t equal greater productivity. Working long hours just means you tried to force too many things into one day. It can also mean you’re not focusing on any one task and completing it. That results in frustration spawned by a feeling of incompleteness.
My Challenge to You
Try focusing on one task and complete it before you move on to the next. When you start to multi task, force yourself to stop. Take the challenge and stick with it for one week and I guarantee you will find that those feelings of working harder, not smarter begin to slip away.
You’ll feel refreshed, engaged and productive!