Can Being More Efficient Lower Stress?
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition & Job Search Coach | Certified Life Strategies & Stress Management Coach
When you learn how to be more efficient, all other things being equal, you will get more work done, and you will do the work better as well. This increased productivity and efficiency will make your boss happy, to be sure, and has the bonus of making you feel good about yourself, too. Who knows? You may be given additional responsibilities as a result. As long as you maintain your level of efficiency, you should be able to add those duties to your workload with relative ease More responsibility can lead to a promotion and (hopefully) a raise as well.
Being efficient doesn't mean that you have to do everything yourself.
Quite the opposite, in fact! Efficiency includes the act of getting others to help. As you prove your efficiency and your responsibilities increase, you can get support from others. In fact, you should seek help. No one is an island alone at work. It takes a team effort most of the time to get things done. We each have our strengths, and if you can get people to use their strengths, it is a win-win for everyone.
It will be easy to find helpers for any project you are working on if you are organized and efficient. As you grow your team, you also have an opportunity to develop your leadership skills. Effective leaders help others on their team build their own efficiency skills. And the cycle grows. As you become more efficient, those you lead will also become more efficient and more work will get done more easily.
This increase in efficiency means more work will get done, and it will take less time to boot!
If you are dedicated to increasing your level of efficiency, you will always look for ways to do things better as well as faster. It could be through automation. Or you may simply choose to use delegation as your technique. Now here is the bonus that comes with all of this efficiency. Since you are getting more done with less time and effort, your stress levels will decrease. And you will be happier at work as a positive by-product of your efforts.
Unfortunately, there are some managers who can't see the forest for the trees. The more work you get done, the more they see it as an opportunity to increase your workload. Meanwhile, they fail to offer you the recognition that your efforts warrant. This can get to the point of adding to your stress levels if they don’t support you. For instance, they may discourage you from delegating these new responsibilities. Or they refuse to give you the tools you need to do the job as well as you could.
This added pressure with no support will overwhelm you and add to your stress. When this happens, you need to nip it in the bud.
Set up a time to talk about the problem with your boss or supervisor. If talking it out with your manager doesn't help, it may be time to look elsewhere for a new opportunity. The good news is your increased skills in being efficient will help you land a new job that much quicker.
When you learn how to be more efficient, you have greater control of your workload. Most people find they actually free up time when this happens due to economies of scale. This free time gives you breathing room, and you won’t be as flustered as you were before you discovered the benefits of greater efficiency. With efficiency, you won’t be scrambling to get your work done by pre-set deadlines. You will beat the deadlines every time.
Efficient people tend to have more opportunities made available to them.
You can take advantage of that in your current employment situation. And you can use it when looking for an opportunity outside your organization. People who have a reputation for being efficient with their time and talents will always be in high demand.
So, how do you increase your level of efficiency without increasing your stress level?
Study the job to be done carefully before doing anything at all. Think through the different ways that you may tackle the problem at hand. Study the project thoroughly, but don't delay getting started. Don't let procrastination rear its ugly head. Start with the big picture of what the project entails. What should the final project or solution involve? How much time do you need to allocate to it? What resources do you need? How much help do you need?
Once you have worked out these essential details, it is time to talk with your boss, manager, or supervisor. Advise him of the work you have done so far and how you assess the need to proceed. Ask for the resources you need and the help you need. Or ask for permission to seek out the remedies and help you need on your own. If you get no help, know that your time in this position is limited. You deserve to have the kind of support you need to get the job done.
I once had a client tell me that she was totally overwhelmed at work.
She had several major projects that she had been assigned, and she was struggling with each of them. I suggested that she speak with her supervisor and ask her to prioritize the projects. Which project needed to be done first? What were the priorities and in what order did she need the projects completed?
My client told me that she had already had that conversation with her supervisor. The supervisor had told her that ALL of the projects were of equal importance and they ALL had equal priority.
My response to that client was simple. "That's ridiculous.
There is no way that all of the projects are of equal importance, and if they are, they need to be divvied up among different people. They should not be assigned to be one person."
My client was relieved to hear me say that. Until that moment, she thought there was something wrong with HER. I assured her that the real problem was her supervisor. That supervisor was making unrealistic demands and in doing so, was revealing how bad she was as HER job
Don't let yourself be bullied this way.
Letting your supervisor take advantage of your good nature has a negative effect. Your supervisor will see you as a pushover. He won't respect you. We respect people who are willing to set boundaries for themselves.
If setting realistic boundaries for yourself isn't possible for you at work, it is time to look for new work. Not doing so will ultimately make your stress level so high that you will become sick.
Look for ways to improve your efficiency. Establish your own authority within the confines of your job responsibilities. And if you decide it is time to look for a new opportunity, don't delay. There is no time like now to get started on making the change you know needs to be made.
Until next time.
Speaking of changes at work, I will be starting a new Group Coaching Cohort on Saturday, November 3rd for a 16-week period dedicated to helping members of the group learn what they need to know about changing their job or career.
The calls take place over the course of an hour every other Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM EST. The dates of this cohort will be impacted some because of the holidays, but I anticipate the dates of the cohort's meetings to be as follows:
November 3, 2018
November 17, 2018
December 1, 2018
December 15, 2018
January 5, 2019
January 19, 2019
February 2, 2019
February 16, 2019
By mid-February, you will have all the tools you need for finding the job or career of your dreams and make 2019 the year of your new career.
To find out more, click here or contact me by responding to this email.
I would love to have you join us!