• Thinking about work 24x7 doesn’t work
  • Get away from work to stimulate creativity and problem solving
  • Apply those new ideas and solutions at work to advance your career
You’ve been busting your ass at work for a long time now. But despite your efforts, it feels like you’re stuck at work and not making much progress in your career. It just seems like that next step up is so far away and out of reach sometimes.

There have been more than a few examples where you’ve worked late nights and even on the weekends to get a key project done. And when you got the project across the finish line, it was mostly crickets.

Not getting the recognition you fucking deserve is such a huge letdown. Is it really that much of a hassle to get a simple pat on the back, high-five or any kind of thankful gesture?

The unfortunate thing is that it doesn’t happen often enough.

Despite that, you charge ahead and grind it out day in and day out. You make personal sacrifices for the benefit of the company. Maybe, you missed a few family events, skipped out on get-togethers with friends, postponed or canceled your vacation or turned down other fun stuff.

It’s all in the name of getting more done for the company and showing your worth for promotion.

But, does this strategy really work?

Does busting your ass for your company 24x7 get you further ahead in your career or will this be another case of getting passed up for promotion?

How Working Less Can Be Better For You And Your Career

If you think being an office hero all the time is going to accelerate your career, think again.

The simple fact is that nobody can work around the clock all the time. Yes, there will be times that you’ll need to put in some long days or even some nights and weekends on rare occasions. But, those should be more exceptions than the norm.

Once you get past the 6-hour mark, you’re productivity and ability to focus really start to decline. After 8-9 hours, it really takes a dive. You can still push on, but your output and quality of work go downhill.

Your mind needs a break from the constant stresses of work. It needs downtime to rest, recover and recharge. And if you don’t let this happen, all sorts of problems start to surface, including increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, etc. Plus, it ups the odds of heart disease.

When you give yourself time off from work, and we’re not talking vacations, but disconnecting from work and leaving the bullshit behind at the end of each day and not thinking about work on the weekends, it does so many good things for your well-being. It’s one of the best ways to manage work stress.

It allows your mind to destress and relax. And if you mix in some me-time and other fun activities, you’ll be boosting your happiness.

And ironically, when you’re not actively thinking about work, you can actually solve a lot of problems and issues that you’re struggling with.

This is because when your mind is relaxed, you’re allowing it to process things in the background without any pressure. Your mind starts to mull things over passively. This all happens subconsciously.

When you’re most relaxed and/or doing other activities that you enjoy, that’s when you have those “ah-ha” shower moments. Everything somehow instantly clicks in your head, the light bulb turns on and you’ve found a solution to that problem.

Here’s how to do it - think about the problem or issue for only a few minutes to seed the thought in your head and then, let it drift off into the background while you relax doing others things. Don’t actively think about it. Let it percolate in the recesses of your mind and soon enough something will pop up.

It’s thinking without actually thinking if that makes sense.

You know that dude Einstein?

He’d go out sailing by himself to allow his mind to relax and come up with other creative solutions. And, the crazy thing is that brainiac didn’t even know how to swim!

This is why it’s important that you get away from the office and not think about work constantly to figure things out. Yes, it’s totally counterintuitive, but it works.

And when you can solve big challenges at work consistently, you’re making a bigger splash and positive impact at the office. This is when your boss and coworkers start to take notice that you’re kicking ass and crushing it at work.

Do this consistently and you’ll be accelerating your career much faster.

How To Focus Less On Work Outside Of Work

Do you find yourself constantly checking your work email, even when you're not at work?

Do you stress about unfinished work tasks when you're not at the office?

If so, you're not alone. Many people struggle to focus less on work and more on their personal lives. This is especially true when you’re overwhelmed AF at work with a ton of shit that needs to get done.

In situations like this, it’s hard to not think about work when you’re away from the office. But, it’s critical that you do so. It not only gives you much needed mental downtime to relax and recover but it also allows your mind to work other shit out in the background.

Having time away from work gives you the mental time and space away from the chaos to recharge and return to the office with a fresh start and clearer head.

Here are a bunch of ways that you can cut back on actively thinking about work during off-hours.

1. Work Smarter Not Harder

Imagine this - you’re at work on a Monday morning, and your asshole boss asks you to do something that is going to take a lot of time and effort. You have two options – you can either work hard for hours and get the task done, or you can work smart and find a way to get the task done more efficiently in less time.

In most cases, the second option is going to be the better choice. It going to get you results quickly with minimal errors.

And, getting quicker wins will allow you to celebrate small victories more often, which in turn allows you to guiltlessly leave work behind at the end of the day and not think about it again until tomorrow.

2. Give Yourself More “Me-Time”

When you get home after a stressful commute, you need to decompress and have an unplugged evening to digitally detox yourself. Do something relaxing for you and only you.

Maybe, it’s soaking in the tub, unwinding with a wine meditation or taking a walk outside in nature around the neighborhood park. Whatever it is that makes you feel more relaxed, do that. Make it part of your evening routine.

Block out the time for yourself every evening, even if it’s only for 30 minutes. No bullshit excuses here. You can create more me-time even if you’re busy as fuck.

3. Hang Out With Friends & Family

Let's face it, most of us spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our loved ones. And while there's nothing wrong with being dedicated to your job, it's important to remember that the people who matter most are the ones who you see outside of the corporate day prison.

Spending time with family and friends, the furry ones too, is a great way to forget about work for a while and recharge your batteries.

Whether you're catching up with your BFF over a few stress-busting after-work beers or playing in the yard with the kids, taking the time to connect with the people you care about will allow you to let office thoughts go and help you feel more balanced and happier.

4. Accept That You Can’t Control Everything

If you're the type of person who feels like they have to have their hand in everything at work, it might be time for a reality check. The truth is, you can't control everything. You can't do everything. You can't make everyone happy. And, everything can’t be number one.

You have limited capacity. And that's okay.

Being okay with not having total control is a more realistic and healthy way to go about living life. It's important to remember that you are not responsible for everything that happens at work.

This doesn't mean you're powerless, though. You still have the ability to influence your work environment. Just know that all of the grunt work isn’t going away and will still be there, waiting for you tomorrow morning.

So, let that shit go for the night.

5. Ask For Help When You Need It

If you're finding yourself struggling with problems or fires at work, it's important to remember that you can't do everything on your own all the time, especially when shit hits the fan. Big problems require more than one brain and perspective.

Our natural instinct is to avoid asking for help, thinking that we'll look weak or incompetent. However, this isn't the case at all. In fact, asking for help is a sign of strength. It shows that you're willing to admit when you're struggling and that you value the expertise of others.

Asking for and getting the help you need will also give you the mental space to see things differently and more importantly, learn how to fix the problem. With teamwork, most all problems and issues can get sorted out. Then, there’ll be fewer work thoughts clogging up your head.

6. Keep A Positive Attitude And Stay Motivated

You know that it can be a challenge to stay positive and motivated all day long. After all, there's only so much enthusiasm you can muster for stupid meetings, endless paperwork bullshit and boring conference calls.

It’s especially hard if you work in a toxic work environment or have a bitchy boss from hell that is always giving you a hard time.

However, it's important to remember that your attitude at work can have a big impact on your ability to disconnect from work when the day is done.

If you find yourself feeling stressed and anxious at the end of the day, chances are that your workday attitude could use a little adjustment. Instead of letting yourself get pissed off about work, try to focus on the positive aspects of your work. Think about how your job helps you support yourself and your family.

You have to keep a positive attitude at work as best as you can so that the bad vibes don’t get embedded into you when you head home.

Cut Back On Work Thoughts To Get Ahead

It’s so counterintuitive to think that by not thinking about work all the time you can actually get ahead in your career. It sounds odd but by letting your mind take a break from the rigors and problems from work, you can actually let it come up with ideas and solutions.

And it’s these ideas and solutions that will help you to sort out the problems and challenges at work. Then, the more issues that you can overcome consistently, you’ll start becoming known as an office hero and that’s a boon to your personal brand. This is when your career advancement starts rolling.

So, when you get home today, don’t dwell on work. Instead, acknowledge the problems, issues and challenges then let them drift off into the background as you decompress and relax.

Who knows, you might get a eureka moment or two.

Feel Better,

more on cubicle life