Feeling overworked? Overwhelmed? Unhappy? These have become such common refrains in the workplace these days that it’s hard to remember what it was like to feel just… normal.
Despite the faster pace of business these days, there are ways to take back control and feel less beleaguered. It’s also possible to achieve a higher level of happiness in your daily work — and personal — life. It’s a topic several LinkedIn Influencers weighed in on this week. Here’s what two of them had to say.
Jeff Haden, owner BlackBird Media
“Effectively balancing our professional and personal lives is a problem we all struggle with,” Haden wrote in his post 10 Ways to Stop Feeling Overworked and Overwhelmed. “Maybe that's because we look outside ourselves for solutions: software, apps, devices, time management systems, etc.”
So what can you do? Haden points to the work of author Scott Eblin, who suggests 10 ways to stop overworked this feeling and take control yourself. Among the tips:
“Recognise and overcome the tyranny of the present. People who are always ‘in the moment’ don't look ahead and make plans to pursue their goals and dreams,” Haden wrote.
“Ask, ‘Is this really necessary?’ Challenge your basic assumptions about your regular habits. Do you need to have that meeting? Do youneed to create that report? Do you need to respond to that email?,” he offered. “In many cases you don't, but you do anyway simply because that's what you've always done. Eliminate as many ‘nice to do’ tasks as possible.” When you do this, you’ll have more time and you can use that time to be more effective in things that really matter, Haden wrote.
“Schedule the most important tasks first. What are your priorities for the month? The week? Today? Determine what they are and do those things first,” Haden offered. “Why would you work on less important tasks when the truly important items are where you create the most value — whether for your business or your life?”
“Give yourself time for unconscious thought. (This) is key to making smart decisions when you face complex problems,” Haden wrote. “Research shows people tend to make their best decisions when they have an opportunity to review the data and facts... and then focus their thought on something else for a period of time. Take a walk. Do a mindless chore. Exercise. Do something where your body takes over and your mind goes on autopilot. You'll be surprised by the solutions you can dream up when you aren't trying to be creative.”
“Set boundaries. No one can or should be on 24/7. Yet you probably feel you are — because you allow yourself to be,” he wrote. “Set some boundaries: the time you'll stop working, certain times you'll do things with your family, certain times you won't take calls, etc. Then let people know those boundaries. Other people won't respect your time unless you respect your time first.”
Ivette K Caballero, marketing communications consultant at IKC Consulting
What, exactly, is happiness? And can youyou achieve it when both work and home life are hectic? “I believe happiness is a lifestyle, something that you practice day in and day out,” wrote Caballero in her post Happiness is Not About Having All You Want. “Living life to the best you can is not as complex, it is simpler that you think.”
Caballero offers three tips achieving happiness.
“Take care of your body. Be conscious about what you eat and drink. Learn to listen to your body. Make sure you consume foods that will help your physical, mental and emotional being,” she wrote.
“Develop meaningful relationships. It is extremely beneficial for you to cultivate three key relationships, one with a person who is older and wiser than you…, then build a friendship with a person of your own age that you can relate to, and also find a mentor that is younger than you to get new perspectives,” Caballero offered. “Having these three types of relationships will provide you with a healthy support system.”
“Have an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful can have a positive impact in your life and in the life of those around you… Gratitude can help you overcome challenges,” she wrote. “The positive thinking produced by your gratitude has proven health benefits like reducing stress levels.”
Related: Time for a digital detox?
This story originally appeared on BBC Capital