Work Smarter, Not Harder
Posted by Lori Ryan / February 13
We all know those people. The work Martyrs. The employees who send out emails at 1, 2, and 3 in the morning. Who practically live at the office — and humble-brag about it to anyone & everyone (especially the late night cleaning crew, who are rapidly becoming BFFs with the Martyr.)
In the field of marketing & advertising, we have late nights from time to time. It is an expected part of the job and can even be a rush, like working til the wee hours on a massive pitch or presentation. But alas, there is no prize at the end of an 80+ hour work week for most employees. There is just burnout for the employee & turnover for the company.
A few simple tricks can help you achieve the holy grail of all overachieving employees:
The coveted (but surprisingly rare) Work / Life Balance.
- Every day, make a list of the tasks / projects / items you have on your plate.
- Bucket them by urgency into 3 tiers:
- Must Do TODAY
- If I Have Time
- When I Have Time
- Set reasonable timeframes for the If I Have Time / When I Have Time buckets so they don’t get buried by the Must Do items.
- Review the list & see which items you may be able to delegate to other team members.
- Repeat after me: You DON’T have to do it all yourself. And it’s actually better for the health & growth of the team for people to take more ownership of projects / tasks. Win / Win.
- If you review your day, week, month and realize that, even after delegating tasks, it is too much for one person to handle, tell someone!
- As employees, we have to speak up if the work load becomes too much to reasonably handle.
- And as managers, we have to get involved to help employees lighten their work load to a manageable level to avoid the burnout factor.
- Remember: We all play a role in helping ourselves and our employees achieve a work / life balance.
4. Manage Yourself
- Assign time limits to the tasks on your to do list to reign in the time spent on each item
- Set limits for yourself & your workday – and stick to them!
- And remember the sage advice, bespoken to me back in 2001 at my very first gig:
- We are in marketing, not saving the world or curing cancer. Let’s keep it in perspective, folks.
Hopefully, these few simple tricks will help you on the path to achieving Work / Life Balance.
The only downside to more of us achieving this goal--less awesome “I Quit” videos to view during all of our newfound free time!