If you want to get started on the path towards greater and better, more efficient work, perhaps a good idea would be to follow the 80% rule. The 80% rule allows you to slack off, while making the time you spend working actually more efficient.
Apparently, this 80% rule has been taken and adapted from a Japanese tradition, hara hachi bu, which means to only eat til 80% full. This principle has been applied to dieting for a long time by many people, but only now has it been applied to work, with enormous benefits.
What you need to do is basically manage your energy and time so that you’re only working at 80% capacity, and not at 110%. You can do this in many ways, one by just not allowing your brain to be completely occupied by work and not stressing out too much on individual details. You can do this by allowing yourself more time to finish work, but at the same time, taking off the pressure by sometimes letting go of a few things as well.
Another thing that can apply with the 80% rule is to split up your hours at work, so that you’re only working 50 minutes every hour, and procrastinating for the other 10 minutes. This allows your brain a slight break, it allows you time for distractions that will keep you sane, and it’s also well-known that a small controlled breaks increase productivity, thus allowing you to keep working for the next 50 minutes in its entirety.
Equally, your work life and overall sanity will also benefit from you decreasing the workload on yourself. Yes, as overachievers we often tend to take a little too much than we can handle – often resulting in assigning tasks to do – whether it’s work, time with the girlfriend, time with friends, etc. – to every waking hour of our lives.
The key point here is reducing the amount of stress you are under daily. You reduce stress, and your chances of burning out also decrease, and as a result, your work efficiency and productivity increase as well. Whether you are using the 80% rule or not, learn to let go of a little of your workload for your own sake, and create yourself a better life.