Welcome to Don’t Work Long Hours – Kick Ass at Work Lesson 9.

Finding yourself working at least 10 hours per day? Sometimes 12 hours and sometimes 14 to even 16 hours?

On the contrary to thinking this shows commitment to your job and is a good thing: it’s the exact opposite.

It’s unnecessary, unhealthy and a possible sign that you are struggling in your position.

So, if you are finding yourself a slave to the office, the below may help you:

You are struggling

Identify if there is an area of your work that you struggle with?

If there is; tackle the problem straight on.

Can you ask your boss for feedback? What can you do to improve your skills? Take an online course? Ask a colleague? Ask for additional training?

Whatever area you are struggling with; swot up on it quickly.

Not only will it save you precious hours in the office; it will almost certainly make your job more enjoyable.

You’ve been over loaded

You have too much to get through hence you are working long hours to get work done.

Accepting more and more work probably won’t get you brownie points and will probably end up working against you because you will end up making more mistakes.


  • Say no. Only do what you have been paid to do and excel in it (check your job description).
  • Ask for a pay rise to take on additional work.
  • Ask to lose some of your existing responsibilities to free you up.
  • Ask for an assistant.
  • Ask for a promotion.
  • Ask for additional holiday
  • Ask to work from home
  • Ask for improved systems / IT

Basically use this as an opportunity to get what you want.

Also, remember if you are over-loaded you will not have the ability to shine and rise to super stardom status in your company.

You’re not delegating properly

I was told by a former Mentor, if you have a good team of people and you are managing them properly I expect you to have a clear desk.

As in no work because I had effectively delegated everything to my team.

His advice being, by mastering the art of delegating properly (not dumping) I would be freed up to innovate and make him money.

I mastered this skill well because it is a skill to be learnt.

If you find this tough to do; get yourself on a course or ask your boss to help you.

Career Coaching Exercises

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A good indicator you are delegating properly? You arrive after your team in the morning and leave the office before them.

You’re being inefficient

You are:

  • Distracted too easily
  • Not prioritising properly
  • Low on energy
  • Have poor calendar management
  • E-mail overload
  • Struggling with the IT.

It could be one of the above or it could be all.

Read my previous articles on the first five bullet points to help you.

If you are struggling with IT, get training. Quickly.

You need to move deadlines

It may be that the deadlines you work too need to be pushed out. They are not realistic.

Speak to your Boss / Client if you are currently working to a deadline you think it’s not realistic and ask for it to be pushed out and explain why.

Also, going forward when a deadline is in the process of being set; speak up if you believe it’s unrealistic.

Improve systems and procedures

Are the IT systems, sign off procedures and general work systems efficient? Are they slowing you down?

If they are go and talk to your boss and raise your concerns along with suggested solutions.

Set strict working hours

It may be a simple of solution of being strict with yourself as to when you close down for the evening and leave.

Agree with yourself the hours you will work and actively follow your rules!

Set alarms as a reminder or tell your secretary to turf you out or get your husband or wife to call you and THEN LEAVE!

I hope this has helped you.

I’m a BIG believer in working for shorter hours because it creates more efficiency, increases job satisfaction and improves overall wellbeing.

If you work for one of those companies or bosses where you are expected you to work long hours then I have one piece of advice: leave.

It’s such an old fashioned way of running a company and probably not one you want to be working for.



Click here for a copy of my free e-book: The Happiness Revolution: Instant Happiness Volume. In the book I outline 13 ways to instantly improve your mood, now!

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