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Stop Working So Much!

[fa icon="calendar"] 5/8/19 6:50 AM / by Deb Cullerton

Businesswoman carrying big stack of carton boxes on her backIt's in my blood!  I grew up in a family that rewarded it.  For many years I believed it was responsible for everything good in my life.  I have always put it in my top 3 values and traits.  And, I now believe (and it kills me to say so) that I was wrong.  In fact, it may be my biggest limitation in achieving both my professional and personal goals.  While I have spent years jumping in and working more and harder when things get dicey, I realized now that this hard work ethic has, at times, caused me to:

  • Make the wrong prioritizing decisions at times when my health, my family life and my spiritual needs were on the line.
  • Become judgmental when others chose differently.
  • Measure "hours in play" instead of results.

 The irony is not lost on me that I am a productivity expert.  I've been teaching people how to work more efficiently for almost 25 years now, but I still didn't understand that this should have been my key to push away from my desk earlier some days.  Instead, I used my extra time to work even more.  I didn't understand how the "work hard" value had embedded itself in my psyche;  how my self-esteem had become so tied to it.  In fact, it wasn't until I heard the words come out of mouth while coaching someone else that I realized how long I'd been doing the exact same thing.  I said, "Be cognizant of why you are you putting in the extra hours?"  Here's a few dressing-for-online-meetingspossibilities:

  • Is it specifically to accomplish a goal or hit a deadline?
  • Is it because the company culture seems to demand it?
  • Is it to impress your boss/colleagues with your hard working nature?
  • Is it to make yourself feel better about not achieving at the levels you believe you should?
  • Others?

Well, 2019 will be my year of recovery.  Just as the overeater needs to recognize when they are eating to soothe and not to sustain, I must learn to recognize when I am working towards something and when I am simply soothing a stress or anxiety with more hours in the seat.

 If you recognize yourself in my story and you want to let this be the year you start questioning whether your behaviors are actually providing the life you really want to live, shoot me an email  (dcullerton@pmaphil.com) and I'll include you in the 20-day Work Sm@rter Challenge.  I'll be putting up a 2-3 min video every day and asking you to view and comment.  This won't be just light tips, so it may not be for you if you're not ready to do some deeper work into your own achievement levels and barriers.  Let Operation "Work Sm@rter" commence and prepare for a whole new level of success in your life and career!

By the way, if you're realizing that you are working too much because you are feeling disorganized and overwhelmed by your workload, we got you too!  This is just a different kind of challenge, and we work with people to solve this one about 30 times per year with our different WorkingSm@rt series programs onsite and virtually.  Here is the upcoming schedule for our public virtual programs.  


4/10,17 & 24

  WorkingSm@rt plus Outlook

3/17 & 24

  WorkingSm@rt plus OneNote

4/10 & 17

   WorkingSm@rt in Teams

5/14 & 21

    WorkingSm@rt in Meetings

Topics: Productivity for All

Deb Cullerton

Written by Deb Cullerton

Managing Partner at PMA and passionate about developing leaders