Have you ever thought how much time you waste at work?  Are you blaming organizational inefficiencies or poor IT systems for that? Fair enough! But why don’t you think for a minute that part of it is your fault. Let’s dig a bit into your day and see if we can free up a few hours!

Couple of weeks ago we discussed 3 Tips on How To Make Time To Workout.

But when it comes to implementation of this “waste removal” process you may come across the main road block – YOUR WORK. Let’s say you did all much needed efforts to clean up your day and your life is super lean and ready for healthy change now, but somehow your office hours start increasing, stress levels rise and quite frankly you just don’t want to work out after/before work.

Well that is the beginning of the “overworked horse” syndrome and you will need to do something about it.

Here is what you could do to minimize office hours and give more meaning to your job:

(1) Start with the big picture first and figure out what is really going on

Are you doing too much work outside your responsibilities? Is the project you work on badly organized and has conflicting objectives? Are your annual goals unachievable in normal circumstances? Are you a perfectionist and put too much pressure on yourself? Have you lost motivation and struggle to be efficient? Do you still love what you do?

Whatever it is – identify it, admit it and together with your boss (assuming he’s an adequate dude) find a solution. You see, the reason behind increasing pressure and workload often is a lack of communication.

(2) Identify and eliminate all waste activities.

Do the same exercise as for your personal life:

=> Scan your work days for waste: Are you drinking coffee too often? Are you chatting too much with your colleagues? Is your lunch too long? Do you often have to redo your work because you did it too fast in the first place? Do you type slowly? Do you often participate in meetings where
you have nothing to add or to say? Is work you performed regularly used, looked at and/or appreciated?

=> Minimize waste activities: Unlike with your personal life, for which I recommend to pitilessly get rid of anything useless (simply because your personal time is too precious to be polluted), when it comes to your office life, removing all the waste is quite unrealistic. At work you will always have obligations outside of your decision making zone plus you will work with other people who may have different vision on what “waste” is.

The most practical thing you can do is to identify all waste activities within your influence (examples in point 1), focus on “fixing” those activities and truly accept things you can’t change.

I think it is best to invest maximum efforts into increasing your competences and level of professionalism in order to become more efficient and save time. I would not recommend to tap into social interactions with your colleagues because you really need those. Your colleagues are your team, your first hand source of information about day to day business and ultimately integral part of your wellbeing. Because as social beings we feel much happier knowing we belong somewhere.

=> Do this regularly: There are no limits to self-improvement. Once you become more efficient at some simple things you will realize how many other time saving opportunities are out there.

(3) Don’t blow it all away!

Now that you have saved all this time and probably got a better job make sure not to waste it and not to fall back into vicious cycle of overloading yourself.compu

Respect your plans, your workout schedule and your other personal priorities. Just accept that they are as important as your job and without good health you simply can’t do a good job.

And don’t be ashamed to be like that!

For example when overloaded, I start missing out on workouts, mess up my sleep and regularly end up eating some fast foods at night. Couple of days like that and all my abundant energy, positive attitude and clear mind start disappearing! Ultimately it is a lose-lose situation. My employer gets a less productive worker and I feel sad and tired for quite some time.

Does it all sound like a lot of self-questioning, self-improvement and self-discipline? The truth is unless you are a flawless employee and work fixed hours it will be very hard for you to maintain regular exercise routine without some greater soul searching and basic personal time management skills.

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