Develop your own plan for success to avoid the misery of overworking yourself


  1. Create a personal definition of success
    Ask yourself, “What matters the most to me?” Focus on these four metrics in your life—Happiness, Achievement, Significance (how much you matter to others), and Legacy. Make sure that you’re contributing equally to these four needs every day.

  2. Track how you use your time every day to maximize your daily schedule
    Over the next week, write down where each hour of your day goes to find out how you’re spending your time. Eliminate activities that aren’t contributing to your happiness, achievement, significance, or legacy. You can also identify your most productive and most wasteful moments and then change your routine to maximize this time.

  3. Schedule your tasks instead of relying on vague to-do lists
    Create a schedule of activities that is realistic and has well-defined timeframes. Schedule every little activity in your calendar and rank each activity according to priority. Meetings, phone calls, doctor’s appointments, and even interruptions should all be scheduled. Dedicate a block of time for doing real work without interruption, e.g. at least one hour in the morning. You can also settle on the exact time to leave the office and go home. This will force you to work more efficiently.

  4. Talk to your boss about your work roles and schedule
    If you want a better work-life balance, sit down with your boss and discuss your role and their expectations of you. Ask them to clarify how much time they want you to engage in unproductive work such as answering emails versus deep work that generates actual results. Agree on your professional and personal priorities so that you can reduce stress and achieve the right targets, especially when your workload is too high.


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