If extra-long workdays have been the norm since you became a boss, it’s time to find out why, before you burn out. Because at some point you won’t have anything left to work harder. You’ll have used up all your mental power, energy and enthusiasm.

However, you can always work smarter. Follow these steps to do so.

  • Take a close look at what you’re doing during those long days. Keep a time log for a couple of weeks and then analyze it for patterns.
  • Compare how you are spending those hours to your goals. Identify what is wasting time and eliminate it, whether you have been on social media or were unable to think for 10 minutes straight because of interruptions.
  • Talk with your boss to clarify his or her expectations. The job description for your position is only a starting point. Identify the small portion of your responsibilities that will have the largest impact on your success and the organization’s. When you feel overwhelmed by expectations, talk with your boss to prioritize the workload.
  • Coach your team members to ensure that they are working efficiently too. When you set clear expectations and train them well, that will save your time and avoid anyone having to re-do work.
  • Examine your to-do list and focus on the tasks that require your unique talents and insight. Delegate other assignments to your team members. New bosses often have difficulty letting go of the tasks they feel comfortable performing, even when they should move on to higher-level work.

Finally, if you have trouble taking your mind off work after you leave the office, develop a new habit that will smooth the transition. Devote 30 minutes after work to your favorite hobby, take a relaxing walk, or just change into casual clothes and focus on spending time with loved ones.

What’s taking too much of your time?


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