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20 Sure-Fire
Ways to Guarantee You'll
Be Overworked and Over-stressed

Many people are feeling the stress in these fast-paced times. Need more stress? Here's 20 different ways to guarantee you'll be overworked:

  1. Never ever recognize the talents of others.

    Especially never recognize it when someone does something better than you do. Anytime you recognize the talents of others, you are in imminent danger of letting that person do the task instead of you.

  2. Never let anyone know what it is you want done and when you want it done by.

    Each time you tell someone precisely what you want, you are in imminent danger of getting it. Telling them when you want it only increases the danger.

  3. Be sure that when you appoint a person to a position, you withhold the decision-making authority that goes with that position.

    Withholding the decision-making authority that naturally goes with a position is your way of ensuring yourself that you will be doing all the work yourself.

  4. Never trust anyone with a position of responsibility except yourself.

    You can't trust anyone if you are to remain overworked.

  5. Never ever find a kind and gracious way to tell people that if they are unable to come through and complete a task in on time, you will have to find someone else to do it.

    One of the keys to being overworked is letting people stay in positions of responsibility when they are basically doing nothing.

  6. See yourself as the only competent human being on the planet.

    This is important! By viewing other people as incompetent, you can almost guarantee yourself that you will be surrounded by incompetent people.

    Remember! There's no better way to overwork yourself than to view yourself as a brilliant general commanding an army of idiots.

  7. Use meetings to stifle creativity.

    As a brilliant general commanding an army of idiots, you want to be sure to have lots of meetings. Why? Because meetings are so effective at breeding frustration and passivity.

    Someone in your organization on fire? Douse that fire with lots of committee meetings. Works every time.

    Having doubts that committee meetings can be used to keep you overworked? Then make a list of the following:

    • All the great works of art created by a committee.
    • All the great inventions invented by a committee.
    • All the great scientific discoveries discovered by a committee.
    • All the great movies directed by a committee.
    • All the great books written by a committee.
  8. Remember that everyone's responsibility is no one's responsibility.

    If you are to remain overworked, it's vital that no one in your organization take individual responsibility for anything!

    That's where committee work comes in. Worked assigned to a committee is no one's responsibility and can be put off forever.

    For this reason alone you want to be sure that no person in particular is in charge of your committee. This will ensure that your committee just sort of drifts along and goes no where.

  9. Be sure that no tangible result ever comes out of any of your committee meetings.

    Remember! You must keep your committee meetings as abstract as possible if these meetings are to remain totally ineffective!

    They key word here is tangible. As long as your committee discusses abstract ideals endlessly, you can be safely overworked.

    It's when your committee starts producing tangible results that you are in trouble. Anything tangible -- written plans, objectives that are measurable, anything that you can feel or touch -- is a threat to your staying overworked.

    It's because like attracts like that you don't want tangible items produced in committee meetings. Produce something tangible and something tangible could result. Oh, no!

  10. Overstaff your committee meetings.

    This is vital to your being overworked! The old saying, "the more the merrier," applies to committee meetings.

    Should your committee be staffed by as few as 3 people, you are in imminent danger of getting something done.

    Avoid small committees as they find it too easy to make decisions and too easy to implement those decisions.

    Small committees are almost as much a threat to you becoming less overworked as individuals are.

  11. Ask for volunteers for important positions at committee meetings.

    Nothing could be more important to your being overworked than for you to ask if someone would be willing to fill an important position at a committee meeting. This is essential!

    Why? Because this is the best way to ensure that you never appoint the best person to fill the position.

    At committee meetings, you can be sure that no deep and profound thought will ever be given as to who should be doing what.

    Furthermore, by using committee meetings to staff important positions, you are ensuring that the least committed people volunteer for the most important positions.

    Remember! People of small commitment give their word quickly and easily. These are precisely the people you need in key positions if you are to remain overworked.

    Should you ever stop to ponder deeply who should occupy each position, you are in imminent danger of finding people who will actually follow through and do the work assigned them.

  12. Make sure your committee meetings consist of nothing but inspirational speeches.

    Better yet, give these inspirational speeches yourself. Best yet, be long winded.

    Remember that no inspirational speech is complete without these three words -- "We should be." Talking about what "we should be doing" is the best way to ensure that your committee won't be doing anything.

    People who are doers rarely talk about what they should be doing. Why? Because they are too busy doing it.

  13. Talk people into doing things.

    Of course, the ideal candidate for any position is someone who needs to be talked into it. Talking people into positions ensures that your key positions are staffed by people with little motivation.

  14. Never let people know you need help.

    If you never let people know your needs, you are never in any danger of having those needs met.

  15. Never ask someone personally to do something.

    If you are to remain overworked, asking people personally is a real threat.

    Why? Because people like it too much. They like being asked personally and they like the personal attention.

    This could over-motivate the person and cause them to get something done.

    Also, it gives you too much leeway as to who to ask.

  16. Never check in with the person you've appointed to oversee a project to see how things are coming.

    Checking in is a disaster! It only takes a few minutes, creates inspiration for the person doing the project, and keeps the project on track.

    If you're serious about being overworked, you'll never check in with anyone on anything.

  17. Treat yourself like a work horse.

    While this article is mostly a primer on how to treat other people badly, you too are a person. You can't truly be awful to other people until you've learned how to be awful to yourself.

    Treat yourself like a work horse that deserves no breaks and no vacations. How are you ever going to be overworked and over-stressed if you can't control yourself and keep taking breaks?

  18. Never do anything you like to do.

    Spend too much time doing things you like to do and your hobby could become your work.

    If anyone ever threatens to pay you to do what you like to do, your overwork is in real trouble. How are you ever going to be over-stressed and overworked if your work becomes your hobby?

  19. Expect people to be able to read your mind.

    When you expect people to read your mind, you are a master of poor communications. Poor communication will ensure that no one ever does anything you ask them to do correctly.

    Better yet, get angry with people who cannot read your mind.

  20. Never take the time to teach anyone anything.

    You never want to train people to take over your position. If you do, they might start helping you out.

    This could lead to their taking over your position and you moving on to a higher position.

    You'll never be overworked if you teach people how to do what you know how to do.

If you remember nothing from this article, remember this -- you'll never be overworked if you teach other people how to do what you know how to do.

©2004 Edward Abbott