You Cannot Do It All – Set Your Priorities

By Catherine Laws July 19, 2022 Leadership

WMA Blog (23)

Creating a true work-life balance has always seemed like a mysterious goal that can never quite be achieved. Today’s working environment with hybrid teams brings unique challenges. Some employees are working remotely while others are onsite. Because of this, it is paramount that you take care of yourself while energizing others to do the same thing. Individuals who do this best are those who recognize they just cannot do and be everything.

Many companies saw greater productivity from having their employees work from home when possible. However, those same employees may now be paying the price with burnout on their horizon. The lines between our personal and professional lives are more blurred than ever. Knowing this, you should set boundaries and work on what you can do to achieve better balance and be more productive.

Here are a few suggestions you can start today, regardless, if you are at the office or working remotely.

Turn your attention to what is most important

You cannot do everything. Identify the activities that will deliver the greatest value. Eliminate time-wasters. Saying no is difficult, but sometimes you must, or at least conveying you cannot handle that project at this time.

The most successful employees focus on activities that will have the greatest impact on their role within their team or company. Prioritizing and setting boundaries will help you be more productive. When you have clarity on what is the best use of your time, it opens space to tackle those high-priority activities.

Take a break to reassess

Declutter your physical and mental space; create an environment where your productivity can thrive. When your work area is disorganized, it is distracting and impacts your mental well-being and your productivity. Instead of working more hours, slow down and take time to reassess your situation. When your to-do list continues to grow, it becomes a continual reminder of everything that needs to be completed. Remember time cannot be regained.

Schedule “focus-time"

Designate time where you avoid distractions even if it is only 30 – 45 minutes to complete those projects that seem overwhelming. This intense focus can help you gain a sense of accomplishment. Then afterward take a mental break, walk outside, do a stretching exercise, even if only for a short time, you will be surprised by how re-energized you (and your thoughts) will be.

Whether you are working from home or at the office, it is easy to burn out or feel overwhelmed with less delineation between your personal and professional life. Make time for family, personal growth, exercise and most importantly sleep. Include non-work-related activities that help you recharge your energy, such as running or cooking or reading a favorite book. To enjoy your job to the fullest, and to be the best that you can be, ensure that there is time for the things that give you energy and matter the most

Begin each day by writing down the activities that you want to accomplish. Think of these as the parts of your job that will be most rewarding to you and to those who will see the fruits of your labor. They energize you and play to your strengths. Treat these as high-priority items and add them to your calendar. Working on your favorite aspects will help keep you motivated, especially during those times when your energy is fading.

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