Coping with long working hours…
You need to accept that you’re never going to get the work done, and that you’re probably going to start making mistakes. I work long hours, but I’ve long since stopped trying to do everything, and instead focus on doing what needs doing, and doing it well. I plan my following g weeks diary with things that I need to do every Friday, once it’s in the diary, it’s happening, regardless of what crops up. I then fit the other stuff around that as and when it happens.Posted 4 years ago
it sounds in your position impossibly difficult and makes my moans and most of stw moans a bit contrite and meaningless. but moan away dude. otherwise it don’t get heard.EDIT Paulosoxo “wins”. I’m humbled and won’t moan about my job for along time….that’s kind of what I wanted..cheersPosted 4 years agoRichPennyMember
I did that for 6-12 months, plus plenty of extra 6-9 hours on a Saturday. I enjoy my job, plus I was well rewarded for the extra effort I put in; I got promoted and was always paid for overtime. Do you feel suitably valued? Best thing I did was book a spa break with my wife to spend 2 days doing nothing. That really helped and I would have done it sooner if I’d known the difference it made.Posted 4 years ago
You need to accept that you’re never going to get the work done, and that you’re probably going to start making mistakes. I work long hours, but I’ve long since stopped trying to do everything, and instead focus on doing what needs doing,
Have tried to do that, each morning! – but the way of the business tends to be people shout & we have to react.Posted 4 years agopaulosoxoSubscriber
Have tried to do that, each morning! – but the way of the business tends to be people shout & we have to react.
That’s how my business is. You just need to learn when to say no. My day can easily be taken up with firefighting, and sometimes it still is, but when it is, it’s got the right reason, and not just because someone else has dropped a bollock.Posted 4 years agoRichPennyMember
Ah, good point. If the workload is higher than the hours available, then you really need to do much more planning and prioritising. Be honest to your superiors about deadlines – having a visible weekly planner may help them to realise that the deadlines you give are realistic. When you say that you’re covering maternity leave, I take it your bosses appreciate that you have not cloned yourself and can therefore only maintain the essential functions of that position? Can you delegate parts of it elsewhere?Posted 4 years agoandyrmMember
I work an average of 10 hours per day, flat out. One of the best things my mentor has taught me is to do one hour of email, then turn email off for 2 hours, then repeat that through the course of the day.
Allows you to prioritise and focus on what you need to do, rather than what people are asking you to do. If they can’t wait 2 hours, they need to pick up the phone and call. After 2 weeks, people soon become conditioned to how you work. Your productivity will go up loads.
Hope that helps!Posted 4 years agopeterfileMember
What is the culture like in the place you work?
If everyone is expected to do long hours, just suck it up or move. If it’s just you that seems to be doing long hours, you need to be having a chat with your superiors about your workload and having a look at your own abilities to deal with a high workload (priority management training and the like can be very useful here).
I left an industry where 15 hour days was the norm. Weekends often disappeared and at busy periods I’d have to nip into town to get clean underwear and a shirt rather than go home. It wasn’t uncommon to go for 2, or sometimes even 3) days without sleep. It was just expected of you, not putting in the hours would be seen as a bad thing. You are conditioned to just accept it and feel obliged.
Now I’m working in an industry where 10 hour days are the norm but I seem to be working harder (it doesn’t feel that way though, it’s just easier and encouraged to be more efficient).
This thread is a good sign though, it means you have at least acknowledged there may be an issue. I started a similar thread here a couple of years ago after I had been away from home for months and was working stupid hours, it took years to realise that the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily all work like this. I’m now much much happier (and healthier) after a move.
If you’re struggling, feel free to email me, it’s a nasty feeling when you think you might be trapped in that cycle of stress/sleep/stress/sleep/stress, more than happy to have a chat about how I dealt with things if it would be of any use.
One last thing. 10-12 hours isn’t too bad, but I’m willing to bet that if you are still finding it difficult to get your work done, it will creep and creep and creep until you’re doing 15 hour days. Do something about it sooner rather than later if you think you need to.Posted 4 years agosamuriMember
Yeah, as above. The best thing to do is prioritise. At least then you come out of the day feeling like you’ve achieved something.
Don’t worry about the shouty people, if something fails because you’re overworked, they’ll shout at other people who will then come and ask why it wasn’t done. You need to be able to show them at that point why. So I know it’s hard but document what you do all day. If you have to spend 6 hours on this thing, document that. Then another 4 hours on this thing, document that.
This is the ONLY way this problem will be resolved. By letting things fail. If you keep doing it, it’ll never go away.
As peterfile says, I’ve worked in industries where 15 hours a day was acceptable and where the hell do you think you’re going? Weekend is just two more 15 hour working days. People were dropping like flies in some of these places, the stress was intense. I remember we had to frig the time booking system a number of times because it would only accept 15 hours in a 24 hour period. People sleeping at desks was commonplace. Nasty, nasty places to be in.
Of course, you have personally opted out of the European Union working directive haven’t you? Because if you haven’t then your company is breaking the law.
Also, if you’re not being given 11 hours break a day, again, your company is breaking the law.Posted 4 years agogusamcMember
sort of related. Experience (hard and unpleasant) taught me that only certain companies are worth working hard for IMHO(the ones that work hard for you), so I’d have a think about that.
Could you react by having an up to date plan (which will allow you to prioritise and keep people informed of progress/delays) and saying these are the implications and then try to get them to do a bit more than shouting.
What can you delegate/get done elsewhere ?Posted 4 years agoononeorangeSubscriber
Been doing it consistently for the last 6 years with a one and a half hour+ commute each way on top. All I can say is that you learn to close your mind to it and just get on with it. You do become inured but my 25 days off in the year are very, very precious and I try to pack everything I can into them although the Blackberry never wants to let me go. My boss retired young last year as it all got too much for him.
I know it’s not going to change, it’s a function of the industry I’m in, I have a mortgage to pay. I suspect that if and when I can step back a bit, it will feel like paradise.Posted 4 years agoslowoldgitMember
This is probably irrelevant, but just might help someone.
Yonks ago I had a boss who was a poor manager. He knew enough that, if he wanted something doing quickly, he’d ask the busiest person in the office. Who would then bust a gut to get back on track. I felt once too often that this person was me. He was asking me to complete a piece of work and telling me the details. As he spoke I wrote a list of the things I was already dealing with. When he finished I asked something like ‘And where does your project fit into this list in terms of priorities?’ He indicated about half-way down.
He never asked again.Posted 4 years agoT1000Member
one of the most important words you can learn to use is ‘No’…….
used carefullly it can stop folks dumping there work / problems on you….
one tip for working long hours if possible delay sending out docs / emails etc until the next morning …. finish them then leave them for the next morning and re read…. as you will make mistakes……
like lots of folks here I’ve done extended periods of long hrs and it takes a serious toll on your performance, relationships and healthPosted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
Yep learning to say no is a big lesson in life.
Covering for maternity sounds like there is either no cash to get a temp/contractor or no willingness to deal.
It’s probably at the stage where you need to book a Monday morning meeting with the Boss and list where you are at and where you need them to help you out by sharing round the work.
Some boring stuff..
If you crash on the way home because you are tired you are dead – work gets into trouble but you are still dead
If your home life goes to rat shit because you are at work all the time it stays broken – work carries on and doesn’t really care
If you screw up due to being tired what are the real consequences? Massive legal bill? Somebodies life?
It’s tough in this climate but you need to get those around and above you to see that in the end doing a bad job for somebody/screwing up will do more damage than saying you are too busy to fit them in this week.Posted 4 years agoDrPMember
Not affiliated with me in any way, but through a roundabout route I’ve been getting emails from http://www.chriscrofttraining.co.uk/ – think I did a course a few years ago.
Anyway, he sends out quite light hearted but USEFUL emails that often crop up with ways of managing your situation – I generally read them, pick out a good few points, then delete.
One thing I learnt from him, on a similar vein to your issue, is that a times there are MAJOR things that need to be done, and MINOR things.
His tip was along the lines of setting out most time for the MAJOR/URGENT things, but also setting time for the MINOR/CAN WAIT things (As generally both still need to be done).
Something like 40:10 minutes per hour, with 10 for other crop ups/breaks.
It’s important to ‘deprioritise’ certain things, but to know they still do need to be done at some point.
DrPPosted 4 years agoCaptJonMember
paulosoxo – Member
That’s how my business is. You just need to learn when to say no.
So true. Learning to say no will free you. I have a colleague whose workload is technically lower than mine, but he complains about how much he has to do and how little time he has to do it. It is solely down to saying yes to almost everything extra he is asked to do.Posted 4 years agobigblackshedSubscriber
As above really. The word “no” is the most powerful word you can use.
Now this is not personal nor is it trolling to get a reaction. But if you think 12 hours plus a day plus weekends is acceptable then you need to get some perspective. That expectation from an employer is unreasonable.
Sit down with your boss and tell them plainly that you have too much work. Tell them what you can realistically achieved within a normal 8-9 hour day and that anything else will be prioritised. If there is no time it doesn’t get done. Record and report very regularly what you have done and what needs to be done. Take your lunch breaks away from your desk and set a leaving time for the day and then leave at that time.
I have been there, done the hours, invested in the breakdown and the depression. You are no good to an employer if you are broken. Plus it is only a job. Not worth killing yourself over. The only people benefiting from your extra hours are the profit makers, because I doubt you are receiving any reward.Posted 4 years agoTurnerGuyMember
But if you think 12 hours plus a day plus weekends is acceptable then you need to get some perspective. That expectation from an employer is unreasonable.
but common – try working for an investment bank…
I found Relentless worked well for a while, then changed jobs to a company that had some idea what they were doing.Posted 4 years agoononeorangeSubscriber
I think I know what the reaction would be if I tried saying that. I doubt I’d be here very long, and I think I’m largely unemployable elsewhere now due to age, so not really an option nor something I’d want to say, to be honest. But that’s just my situation / perspective.
Lunch breaks?!! What are they?
All the time I can physically get myself into work I will. I’m not the only one here doing it either, which helps.Posted 4 years agoClongMember
but common – try working for an investment bank…
My wife was a product manager at one, there was enormous pressure for her to work excessive hours, but started at 9 and finished at 5 regardless. She left of her own accord, despite being offered a promotion to stay.
I work in the oil industry, the norm is to work way beyond the contracted hours and on occasions i have worked 18 hour days, but by and large i work the hours contracted.Posted 4 years ago
An ex-boss said that the only things I had to do were those that ensured he stayed in his job.
Anything else wasn’t important to him.
He stayed, I stayed and got good rises/bonuses – some days were quiet and short, others were never-ending. In the end I had a team of 50, with 3 deputies whose main role was? To ensure I stayed in my job.
I liked working for him.Posted 4 years agoDracSubscriber
I was shown that list on another pointless waste of money management course. When asked on our opinions, I pointed out that they had time wasters should be number one as they need to be dealt with starting with this course which had taken me away from my only chance to get some reports in with a deadline that was due. Result was no more courses of that kind for a few years for anyone. 😀Posted 4 years agoandyrmMember
Had totally forgotten the 4 D’s when something incoming crops up:
Can you do this right away, immediately, within 2 minutes? If so, do it.
Can it wait? Is it “burning down house” urgent? If not, mark as unread again, revisit later when you have dealt with urgent things
Is there someone you can delegate this to? If so, delegate it.
Is this someone/something wasting your valuable time & resource? If so, tell them you can’t deal with this.
Always remember it is about YOU not them. They (whoever “they” are) don’t know your full workload, priority list etc, so you need to make your task list work for you or fall over.Posted 4 years ago
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