It's a common mantra that we tell ourselves.. Work harder, work harder, always, work harder!
How many people has this actually worked for in the long run? You've been given an "opportunity" at work (employers code for I want you to take on even more work but want you to see the positive in it) and until now you've found a work/life balance that works, achieving goals at work, time for kids, time for exercise, etc..
This opportunity from your boss immediately grabs the attention of your competitive/achieving ego... If I complete this, I'll get that promotion, I'll earn the respect of management, I'll be able to drive around in that new car... All hail me!!
The actual cost of this opportunity is missed as you devote more work time to it, you reduce hours spent exercising, you reduce hours spent with your kids and so on... Once you are in the thick of embracing this opportunity, your energy levels suffer... You start to get irritable, anxious and sometimes completely exhausted... You leave yourself vulnerable to missing something... "Damn, I let that one slip, it's going to move the project right by X months or cost the project X amount... ", soon you’re not only criticising yourself but also your boss is unimpressed... que the Alcohol.
So what might you have done to avoid this scenario? Not take on the opportunity? Well, if in truth it really was an opportunity then no. What we could have done is "Work Smarter"...
To embrace any new opportunity we need all the energy we can get. We also need creativity. Two things that you immediately let slip when embracing the opportunity were time exercising and time with kids..., both of which have their demands for sure. However, walking in nature has been proven to boost mood, creative thinking and importantly helps balance your energy levels. Kids are in most cases known for an abundance of energy and enthusiasm towards life. Drop your resistance to them (don't do this, don't do that, just sit and watch TV...) and let their energy flow within and through you... In other words and if you don't have kids, have fun.
When you return to the office, be it at home or at work, you will be well placed to deliver what you need for the opportunity with flare, passion and creativity and without adding hour after hour to the working week...
Have a go, work smart, not hard.