Do Your Own Job, Not Everyone Else’s

Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash

I suppose it depends on the environment you work in, and how many colleagues you have, but it’s easy to get too involved in other people’s work, and forget your own.

This doesn’t necessarily only apply to jobs, it can apply to volunteer work, school work, and teamwork as well.

It’s one thing to help people out of kindness, which is certainly a great trait and something that I am obviously all for. But some people can become very comfortable, and take advantage of your time, simply because you are either too nice, or you have created an environment where there are no clear boundaries, and people simply feel free to ask you for any favor, any time.

If you have found yourself in this situation (like I have in the past) here are some tips to help you handle it, politely:

  1. Take some time to really think about the people who are asking you for favors, and determine whether they truly need help and deserve it, or are simply looking for ways to do less.
  2. Politely state that you have too much work yourself at the moment, and cannot spare any additional time. *If you want to help them, but not right now, allocate a time in the future when you will do so and let them know.
  3. Keep your resolve strong, and don’t let them overpower you the next day. If you do not wish to repeat yourself every day, declare that the following week, or month, is a hectic one for you and you simply must focus on your own tasks.

You’ll be surprised how quickly people will give up and either go back to actually doing their own work or, sadly, move on to someone else who has a soft side.

Our lives pass by too quickly, and work can be stressful enough as it is without putting ourselves in a situation where we end up working double.

Be kind, of course, but always spare a moment to notice whether or not that kindness is headed towards someone who deserves it.