How many hours did you work last week?

Before the dawn of Covid-19, people would work for a specific number of hours, sometimes with a break, then go home. The virus made it impossible to work in the office for most people, and schedules were shoved into the cabinets. Working from home coupled with the pressure to make ends meet under tough prevailing economic conditions has seen many people working for longer hours than usual. Unfortunately, working long hours can be counter-productive.

A study conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that about 750,000 people died in the year 2016 due to long working hours. The study showed that working for over 55 hours in a week was associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. While the temptation to work long hours may overwhelm, it may not be good for your well-being. Nevertheless, with the following tips, you can work fewer hours and still be productive.

Have boundaries

The success of your workplace may most likely depend on how well you and your colleagues wok in a team. Therefore, it is tempting to want to help your fellow employees when they are lagging or when they ask for help. However, you must be careful to ensure that you are not overworking trying to help others. Having boundaries is part of self-care. However, if you finish your duties earlier, then by all means, help out.

Time Management

That’s right. The good old-time management can help you work less and still achieve more. The goal of time management is to ensure that you allocate enough time for every task that you have to accomplish. With good time management, you utilize every minute you have. The end goal is that you work smart as opposed to working hard.

Speak up

If you notice that you are always working with less than enough time for your social life or other activities apart from work, it may be time to speak to your boss. You can ask him/her to redistribute tasks or you can work up a plan that will ensure that you are not overwhelmed and constantly fatigued.

Note when you are most productive

We may have been mistakenly led to believe that only early risers achieve anything. What with the many books written to encourage waking up early and adages like the early bad catches the worm. Unfortunately, not everyone can be active in the morning. For some people, even getting out of bed is an uphill task. Therefore, know when you are most productive and schedule your most demanding tasks for that time.

READ ALSO: 6 practical tips for productivity while working from home

Don’t be a perfectionist

Some people will never let go of anything until it satisfies their perfectionist tendencies. Unfortunately, this might mean working for hours on end without taking a break. While the result may be impressive, it is not worth the risk to your health. Break down your tasks into small manageable chunks and learn to appreciate the good even when it’s not perfect in your book.

Final thoughts

Work is rewarding in many aspects. However, if these rewards are at the expense of your health, then they are not worth the effort. Fortunately, the above tips and many others, are proven ways through which you can work less and still be productive.

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