How to Do Less at Work Without Getting Fired

Recently, one of my clients was stressing out about the amount of work that was piling up at her day job.

She wanted to do less at work but was worried it might look like she was slacking off.

“I can’t take it!” she said. “I have to earn my paycheck and listen to my boss. But there are soooo many negative things around me.”

Burnout at work is such a common problem for us Life Editors. But you can’t punch your manager in the face or set your cubicle on fire.

Well, you could…but I don’t recommend it.

Step 2 of the Life Editing Process is Delete Bad Influences. You might avoid toxic people, stop eating sugar, or throw out your clutter.

But what if those bad influences are at your job where other people dictate your workload and you might not have control over who you interact with.

No worries! You CAN do less at work without getting fired.

First, determine your bad influences.

  • They drain your energy, such as the endless meetings you don’t need to be at.
  • They frustrate you, such as that coworker who steals your pens.
  • They’re not your responsibility, such as getting coffee for your manager.
  • They turn you into the worst version of yourself, such as that one client who pushes all your buttons.

Next, choose to delete it or create a boundary.

Delete these bad influences:

  • Things that don’t need to get done now, such as old admin tasks that don’t matter anymore.
  • Things that don’t support your ultimate goals, such as filing paperwork when you should be making sales calls.
  • Things that are other people’s problems, such as the tasks your lazy coworker dumps on your desk.

Create a boundary around these bad influences:

  • Your work hours, so that you have a clear division between “work time” and “me time.”
  • Taking on more tasks, so that your manager understands that you can’t do 10 things at once so she needs to choose the top priority.
  • Annoying coworkers, so that they know you don’t do chit chat when you’re on a deadline.

Finally, enjoy these benefits when you do less at work.

  • You’ll have more energy after work to focus on your personal goals. Now you can go to the gym or play with your kids.
  • You won’t feel so resentful at your day job. No more slouching at your desk stewing in your negativity.
  • You’ll clear the space to work on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. Making positive changes is easier when the bad stuff is cleaned up first.

This week try deleting one bad influence at your day job or creating a boundary around it.

Trust me, it’s better than going on a rampage and trashing the office. I don’t have the money to bail you out of jail.

This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here

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