We all have a finite amount of energy and mental bandwidth on any given day. With family obligations, bills to pay, and trying to be successful at work, there are enough things going in your life that you have to worry about. Why add more if you don’t have to?
Some work problems may seem like things you should worry about, but they really aren’t. They’re hidden energy and time sinks that will zap your focus, creativity and drive. Once you decide to stop wasting energy on these problems, your work life will be much smoother.
You may know areas where your company could save time and money by using new technology and more efficient processes. And if you do, by all means, share that information with your supervisor -- once, suggests Chaz Pitts-Kyser, author of “Careeranista: The Woman’s Guide to Success After College.”
“Suggesting a change once is okay, but when it becomes apparent that your supervisor prefers the old method, just leave it alone,” she says. “Pushing the issue can make you seem like a know-it-all who doesn't respect other people's decisions. Focus on making your own work as a efficient as possible and learn to live with those silly procedures your company can't seem to let go of.”
When you feel like your co-workers aren’t pulling their weight, it can be frustrating, but nevertheless it’s none of your business. If your colleague’s poor performance is affecting your work, it’s OK to address it with them directly or with your boss, Pitts-Kyser says. But if nothing changes as a result of your remark, you just have to deal with it.
If you press the issue repeatedly, it will seem like you’re questioning your boss’s decision-making, she says. Instead, after that first complaint, just “do your work as best you can despite your colleague's poor efforts.” Multitasking mania
Multitasking used to be all the rage, but research has shown it doesn’t improve productivity and cuts into quality of work. Instead, Tresha Moreland, founder of HR C-Suite, recommends you stop trying to multitask and focus on one or two things at a time. Finish them well and then move on. “You’ll find your accomplished list grows at a faster rate and with a better quality outcome.”
The ping alerting you to a new email can be addictive and alluring, but it can also be a death-knell. It’s so tempting to check every ping. You think to yourself, “What new information is someone sending me that I need to know? What vital information do they need from me?”
It’s easy to get caught up in the sense of urgency, but it’s not really necessary. How many emails do you get each day that can’t wait a few hours? If it’s genuinely time-sensitive, someone will probably text or call you and make sure you know what’s happening.
Moreland suggests that, instead of all the stopping and starting involved with answering emails as they arrive, you try answering emails at set times during the day. “Try turning off your computer and smartphone sounds if you find you can’t resist the temptation of checking those messages right away.”