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How to Avoid Feeling Guilty Over Unfinished Work

For many of us, our to-do list never really has an end. When we cross off an item, there’s inevitably another one to take its place. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but leaving the office without having completed our lists of tasks and projects doesn’t feel good. In fact, it can leave you feeling guilty about heading home and calling it a day. But, guilt isn’t always a bad thing. For some, guilt can act as motivation for completing tasks that absolutely need to be finished. However, there are other times that guilt is nothing but a nuisance. The next time your unfinished project pops into your head while you’re having dinner with your family, or catching up with a friend, consider these tips and suggestions for a guilt-free night or weekend.

Practice Saying No

A lot of times our to-do lists grow because of our own inability to say no. Every time we say “yes” to someone or something, we inevitably add more work to our lists. In times when you’re overwhelmed by your current workload, it’s okay to say no. In addition, don’t forget the power of delegation. You’ve hired a team for a reason. Choose tasks that can be completed by someone on your team, and ask them to pitch in. This is a great way to show your team members that you trust them, while also freeing up some of your time so finish the tough stuff.

Practice Empathy and Compassion

Guilt comes when we forget that we’re human. Humans need to take breaks, or spend time with their families. Humans also make mistakes! When you feel guilty about leaving a task undone, take a minute to step back and practice self-compassion. Take yourself out of your situation and think about what kind of advice you might give to someone experiencing the same scenario. Often times, we’re much more likely to show others compassion than ourselves.

Plan Plan Plan

Even if you can’t get the work done today, having a plan in place for when you’re ready to work again will usually scare the guilt away. Instead of rushing to get things finished, stop and write down a plan from start to finish. This will help keep you accountable and give you a realistic time frame for completing any unfinished projects or tasks.

Keep Learning

Being overwhelmed by work happens, but don’t let it keep you from learning about yourself. When you’re experiencing stress or guilt, try to take note about what works best for you. Maybe you need rest in order to complete the work that gets left behind. Or, maybe you work best after having a plan in place. Knowing what you need to do good work is important and will help you in the long-run.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know what guilt feels like. Trust us—we’ve been there! But, don’t forget to practice self-care and compassion along the way.

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Quadrivium: noun[kwo-driv-ee-uh m]

from Latin quadrivium, which means 'a place where four points meet"

Bringing you to that perfect point.

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