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Five Ways to Avoid Being Overworked

I wanted to share this great article with you from Penelope Trunk titled “Five Ways to Avoid Being Overworked”.


Take responsibility for being overworked, then change it.

OK, suppose you love your work and you’re happy working 15-hour days. That’s fine. Just don’t complain about it.

What I’m saying is that if you complain about having too much work you should look in the mirror — it’s your own fault, and you can change the situation by drawing boundaries at work. Be an adult by taking responsibility for your time, and complain only when you have a solution.

Star performers don’t talk about being overworked, they talk about time management. The best time managers excel at it because they’re good at figuring out what they don’t have to do. The best time managers have the confidence to say, “I’ll still be a star even if I don’t do that task.”

This reminds me of Gina Trapani, who edits the Lifehacker blog. Gina and three other editors put out a publication that has more readers than just about every local newspaper in this country, and many national magazines. Surely she’s a very busy person. But her productivity tips belie a Zen-like balance in which she isolates the most important things and lets other things languish if need be.

Want an example? In order for Gina to blog every day, she has to keep up with hundreds of other bloggers so she knows who to link to. These blogs come to her via direct feed. What does she do when she’s falling behind and blog posts are piling up? She clears out her in-box and starts over. “If something’s really important,” she said at a panel I attended, “someone will email me about it.”

This is great advice from someone who’s succeeding in an area where most people would succumb to information overload. Clearly, the way to do good work is to know when it’s time to not do it.

Here’s to having a career you love!

Hallie Crawford
Career Transition Coach