How to Cut Back at Work

Work have you feeling overwhelmed? It might be time to cut back. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice promotion – we’ll show you how!

How to cut back at work

How to cut back at work

With smartphones and email, it can seem that we never have a break from work. It can feel like work has taken over our lives. But this feeling of overwhelm can lead to burnout. Today we’re going to give you 5 strategies to help you cut back at work without sacrificing your career prospects.

Unplug when you leave the office

It’s hard to relax when you are constantly checking your phone. There are a few ways to help you unplug when you are away from the office.

  • First, put your phone in ‘Do Not Disturb‘ mode. This allows you to silence calls, alerts, and notifications, or set that only certain people can get through to you. That way you won’t miss a call from your BFF!
  • You can also disable notifications from certain apps. If late night Slack messages are a regular feature in your life, disable their notifications. That way you must open the app to see if anyone has messaged you. Constant notifications take our mind away from what we are doing. If you are enjoying a romantic date with your partner, the last thing they want is for you to be completely distracted every time you get a notification.
  • Use an app like Boomerang for Gmail that allows you to specify a time that emails come into your inbox. That way you can stop work email from coming into your inbox from a certain time onwards.

Set boundaries

Are you always volunteering for everything at work? Do people abuse your willingness to get involved and help out? You need to start to outline boundaries. If you don’t set them and make them known, no one else will know. Remember, every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else.

  • Start by slowly releasing yourself from the tasks that you dislike the most. You can do this gradually so your boss and work colleagues won’t think that you are suddenly becoming difficult to work with.
  • Create some email templates that you can send to people when they ask you for something. There are nice ways to say no.
  • You also need to figure out your priorities. By knowing what exactly needs your attention, this allows you to focus on these important things while phasing out the rest.

Delegate

It can be easy to fall into the trap to think that no one can do something as well as you or to think that it’s quicker to do it yourself. If you find yourself overworked, it usually because you’ve taken on too many responsibilities. Make a list of all the jobs you need to do during the work day and note any jobs that could be done by others. You might think that delegating makes you look weak like you can’t cope – but it doesn’t. It shows that you know how to lead a team efficiently.

Self-care

It’s important during the work day that you take some time to recharge. If you don’t, it’s likely that you’re going to end up stressed and crying in the toilet some day soon! Self-care can be as simple as taking 10 minutes to read a book or magazine during your lunch break. If you work in an environment where everyone has their lunch at the desk, try and step away from your desk for a few minutes. If anyone questions you, just reply that you get better quality work done when you have a few minutes away from your desk. Who’s going to argue with that?

Change your self-talk

You are more than your career. It may be very important to you, but it does not completely define you. If your self-identity is based on your career, you need to work on figuring out what else defines you. You may not have your job forever, so who will you be when that happens? By realizing that you have so much more to offer than what you do at work, you will begin to change your self-talk.

So how do you cut back at work? Does it scare you to do so? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sinead has three passions in life - blogging, books and booze. She is the owner of sineadsocial.com, a website that helps new bloggers build and grow their own blogs. She runs a monthly blogger meetup in Dublin through GirlCrew Bloggers.

12 comments

  1. These are really useful tips! I’m lucky because I’m quite ok at compartmentalising these different parts of my life, but I can definitely see how it would be really easy to let work stress you out in your home life. Thanks for this awesome advice!

  2. It took me forever to learn to delegate and let other people do the work so I can focus on the most important work. I also struggle with not checking my phone when I am outside work but working on it. Lovely tips

  3. These are really great tips! I have to learn how to do this in a few different ways since I work from home. . . it can be so difficult to unplug but I try my best.

  4. All of these tips are the reasons why I had to leave corporate America. It was so draining and I felt like my life circled around it, good tips for people who do have to work like this – you are not your job!

  5. This is insanely important these days! In fact, I’m quite sure that nothing is more important because if you don’t set those boundaries and take the appropriate steps, you’ll end up working all the time and potentially without even knowing it!

  6. During weekend, no work calls and work emails. And I don’t bring my day work to my home. In this way, it helps me to relax and doesn’t eat my whole time.

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