|Fulfillment@Work: IMPROVING WORK/LIFE BALANCE BY IMPROVING YOUR WORKLOAD
July 7, 2004
Welcome to the Fulfillment@Work Newsletter
Published by Joel Garfinkle, Dream Job Coaching
Message from Joel
I have had many subscribers contact me in the past few weeks about becoming a client. I found it interesting that many of them wanted to make a change for years, but didn't have the initiative or motivation to do it. They kept procrastinating until 1 week became a month and the month became a year. Nothing changed and the amount of doubt and fear kept increasing. This is why I suggest that you do the following:
1) Do not procrastinate.
2) Ask for help, reach out, email friends, family, co-workers or even me (email@example.com).
3) Don't postpone taking action.
4) Do something...anything that will help you move forward in the most desired direction.
5) Action leads to results. What is the one action you could take today? When will you have it done? What support do you need to move it forward and take the next action?
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, a study found that two out of every five employees are dissatisfied with the balance between their work and their personal lives.
My goal is to show you how to have a healthy work-life balance. The last newsletter focused on Changing Your Attitude within the concept of work/life balance and this second part will focus on Reducing Your Workload.
Will you pass the word? Many people will gain great insight and inspiration from this articles on "Improving Work/Life Balance"
1. Improving Work/Life Balance by Reducing Your Workload
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4. Coaching Client - Words Of Wisdom
Improving Work/Life Balance by Improving Your Workload
In the last issue, I offered several suggestions for balancing your work and life by changing the way you view your responsibilities and how much you really need to take on. You'll find that an attitude shift will go a long way toward helping you cope with increasing work demands. However, it won't do much to decrease what's already on your plate. That requires the next step: communication, negotiation, and delegation.
Here are five strategies for working with others in your organization to reduce your workload so that you can get back to being effective and productive.
1. Give push back to your manager.
If a ton of information is sent to you when your manager gives you a new project, assignment, or task, what do you do? It's important to apply this two-step process.
Step 1. Ask your manager why this is so critical. The answer will help you understand the importance of a new task in relationship to everything else you are working on and enable you to decide how best to use your time.
Step 2. To give push back to your manager, ask this series of questions: "Do I have to get it done today? What are the consequences of not getting it done today? Can I push it back to another time? Is it as important as the other projects/ assignments I am working on?"
2. Rebalance your workload.
If your workload is too high and too demanding, go to management and ask them to rebalance the load. This means discussing with them all that is on your plate (all of your responsibilities and job duties) and finding a strategy to rebalance your workload so that you have less to do. Others can take on some of your responsibilities so that you'll be able to focus on the areas that can help you and the company become more profitable and successful.
3. Set realistic expectations with your bosses.
Before you accept any new project, you need to take into consideration all the information you are currently holding and all the responsibility you now have. Then make sure the expectations that come with the project are realistic and fair. Your boss needs to be aware of all that you have on your plate so he won't have unrealistic and unfair expectations of you.
4. Just say no.
We are hesitant to say no because we fear rejection. We feel that someone will not like us if we do say no. Why does this happen? It's because our belief system says we must please everyone. This shows up unconsciously and gets in the way of being effective in our work.
I had a client who said yes to all of her projects so others would be impressed with her. Her plate was getting more and more full. As others began relying on her more, a trap of unrealistic expectations began to grow. Her work product declined and she wasn't getting as much done. She was saying yes to so many different things that it was undermining her success in the areas that got the most recognition and related most to the job she was doing.
If you please everyone, it means you are saying yes to everyone.
Begin saying no more often. Practice the muscle of no so that when you really need to say no, you'll know how to do it.
5. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
If you have people who work for you, delegate to them as much as possible. The more things you can get off your plate and onto someone else's, the easier it is for you to be balanced. Otherwise, the amount of responsibility and tasks that need to get done becomes enormous.
Even if you have no one working for you, you may be able to delegate some of your tasks. Talk with your boss, explaining all the projects you have going on. Say, "Here are all of my tasks and responsibilities; which one has top priority?" You could ask him to give some of your lower priority tasks/projects to others on the team so you can tend to the most important items. Delegating to your peers or even giving your boss responsibility for certain projects/tasks is a valuable skill to learn. They may have more bandwidth or ability to get the project or assignment done than you currently have. By delegating to them, you are improving the productivity of your organization and your team.
The pressures and demands of work may seem overwhelming, but changing your attitude, learning to say no, and negotiating with management and coworkers to decrease your workload will make a tremendous difference.
As your life/work balance improves, you'll become more effective, more productive, and more valuable to your team. And instead of feeling trapped, you'll finally be free to focus on the things that matter most.
Want more help and support with work/life balance? Contact me at (510) 339-3201 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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~ Joel Garfinkle
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Quotes of the week
"Many a businessman feels himself the prisoner of the commodities he sells; he has a feeling of fraudulency about his product and a secret contempt for it. Most important of all, he hates himself, because he sees his life passing him by without making any sense beyond the momentary intoxication of success."
~ Erich Fromm
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it."
~ John Ruskin
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