Did you know that overtime is a workweek in which an individual works overtime and is not paid until March 9th? This is 68 days of overtime that we give to our employers as overtime is not paid.
The 2017 Totally Money overtime survey found that 60% of respondents don’t feel they have a good balance between work and life.
Working from home for a part of the week has allowed me to regain a sense of balance that I had when I was working in an office every day. I have a garden office so I can still work from home, but it’s a much more peaceful environment than the commute and I can wear jeans. Plus, I’m more productive. I get at least as many things done in the office as I do at home, and sometimes more.
However, working smarter and less hard is not just about having the time to work remotely.
We project managers are usually very organized and I didn’t expect to learn much at the event entitled “Working smarter, not harder”. However, I did learn some interesting statistics, including information about the unpaid overtime we all do. Here are some more stats:
78% of women report working for flexible work policies. However, better technology could make it easier to manage work and family.
55% felt their work/life balance was perfect, but they desired more.
45% of respondents said that their work/life balance was out of whack and even beyond the point of being balanced.
These figures were based on a survey of women in the room that we completed before we arrived.
Where do you begin if you want to work smarter? Here are five ways you can make your work more flexible and more in line with your lifestyle.
1. Know Your Strengths
Do not try to be all things to all people. It is a waste of time to do everything when someone else can do them better than you. Do not be afraid to surround yourself with positive people and have a great team. They will support you and make sure you look great.
2. Establish clear boundaries about the hours you work
If you have the time and energy to work on weekends or evenings, it’s okay. Flexibility is a virtue, but you must also take your time. This sets a good example for the team.
Although I’m trying very hard, it is still a work in progress.
3. Establish clear boundaries about how people contact you
It makes life easier if people can reach you via IM, mobile phone or desk phone, BlackBerry, email, or home phone. You should tell people how to contact you and keep it that way. You could make a “drop everything list” of people who have all your contact information. These people could be your child’s school or your partner. They would be the people you would make an exception for, as they won’t call you unless it was crucial. You can reach everyone else at your convenience.
4. Hide Away, Catch Up
This is what I am doing right now! I’ve booked a weekend in a hotel to start writing my next book. I’m also doing some blogging to take my mind off of it.
You can schedule time to work from home or at another office. While you can still reach me by phone, you will be more productive if people aren’t constantly interrupting your workstation. Although this is not a strategy that you can use every single day, it helps me tremendously to know that I have quarterly catch-up days already scheduled in my diary.
5. Learn How to Use Your Technology
Make sure you drive it and not vice versa. It is a time-waster and increases my stress levels.