4 Tips To Avoid Working Too Much

It is very easy to fall into a routine of working too much.  It may begin with the learning curve of starting a new job and wanting to ramp up as fast as possible. Or, it could be a desire to impress the boss by showing how much we can contribute.  Additionally, it could be our aspiration for a promotion. So, we take on a special project that has an opportunity to grow and develop.  We may even just love the satisfaction of doing a great job.  Finally, we may enjoy getting recognition at work so putting in the extra time is actually something we enjoy.  So we don't really think about the idea that we should try to avoid working too much.

Regardless of the reason for doing it, we are actually robbing ourselves of the work life balance we need.  This post discusses the risks of overworking.  Here are the lessons I've learned on how to avoid working too much:

Don't Set Unrealistic Expectations For Yourself

No matter how much extra time we put into the job, the work will never be done.  There will always be another project or another fire that needs attention.  The unfortunate part is that managers don't really pay attention to how much we are working after hours.  They only care about our production.

If we are working every night and on the weekends then we are telling our manager what our capacity is.  Thereby telling them that they can expect that level of output from us on an on-going basis.  We have essentially told our manager that we will continue to work evenings and weekends.  The best way to avoid working too much is to never establish this routine in the first place.  If you are already in this place, then I'd recommend pulling back over time to a balance that fits your life.

Give Yourself Permission To Let Some Balls Drop

As we all know, life is not perfect.  Mistakes are made all the time despite the best planning.  If you have ever watched a professional juggler, even they drop the ball sometimes.  Especially when they have added many balls in the air.  What I like about jugglers is that when they do drop something they just carry on with the show.  There is no time to wallow in the mistake.  They seem to approach it like it is just inevitable and they keep going.

We should also accept the reality that it is impossible to be perfect.  When we do, we can focus instead on keeping the most important balls in the air.  Additionally, we should properly manage expectations with our manager that something is going to drop but we believe we have the most important areas protected.  Doing this should give you internal permission to avoid working too much.  You can leave at night knowing you have things mostly under control.

Don't Think Working Too Much Means You Are More Productive

There comes a point when we stop adding value by working longer hours.  We stop being about to think straight and we get stressed about a deadline.  We need avoid working too much so that we can recharge in order to be at our best.  If we are not getting enough sleep we won't be at our best.  If we aren't getting outside experiences and are only thinking about work 24/7 then we don't allow our brains time to process things.  Outside experiences can both provide inspiration and a reduction of stress needed to think about and process problems differently.

Don't Think If You Avoid Working Too Much Means We Won't Be Promoted

The common misconception is that working less means we won't be able to get everything done.  We feel if we can't get everything done, we won't have the promotion opportunities we are looking for.  The fact is that there are many hours in the work day that aren't as effective as they could be.  Think about how many meetings you sit through where you wonder why you are there.  Or you think they aren't being run as effectively as they could be.  Check out this post on ways to make meeting more effective.  If you are able to find ways to be more productive during your regular work hours that could lead to you being able to do more with less hours.


Each individual defines work life balance differently as it depends on our circumstances.  What isn't different is the fact that we'd all like to be able to spend more time outside of work.  We don't want work to creep so much into our personal life.  Employers are not going to manage this balance for us so we need to take control of our own situation to not work too much.  We need to be proactive and make changes that bring us the balance we desire.

If you have questions, have things to add or would like to set up time to talk about how to avoid working too much, please send a note in the comment section below.  

Who is Tim Campsall?

I am a certified Business Coach, providing business help, business advice, business coaching and mentoring services to successful and emerging business owners. I have a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.

As your Business Coach and advisor, I will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at optimal levels. Let's schedule a complimentary Business Coaching session to get started.

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Tim Campsall Certified Business Coach

Coach Tim Campsall

Is an award winning trainer, certified Business Coach and business owner of a local ActionCOACH Franchise here in Indiana. He has over 28 years experience running businesses and coaching leaders /teams. He provides business help, business advice, business coaching and mentoring services to successful and emerging business owners. He has a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.