By now, you’ve probably heard about the Japanese woman who died of heart failure because she worked too much. The month before she passed away, she worked an additional 159 hours, including weekends.

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The scary thing? Most people believe that to prove yourself and to be indispensable, you have to live in the office. And that’s just not true.

These habits will help you be more productive and generally more satisfied at work:

1. Be present.

Whatever task you’re currently doing for work, make it count. For example, if you’re going into a meeting, be sure to get the most out of it. Because we live in the digital age, unless you’re explicitly told to stay off your phone, chances are you’re probably checking it throughout the entire meeting. Don’t. Coordinate with your teammates. Get as much planning done as possible. Focus on one thing at a time. You’d be surprised at how much more productive you’ll be.

2. Learn when to say “no.”

Everybody knows that being a team player is a good trait to have if you want to get anywhere in this world. It also means you’re eager to learn and aware that you can’t do it alone. But this doesn’t mean that you should help out all the time. Think about it: How much help would you be able to give if you’re already drowning in your workload? What if you miss your deadlines or produce inadequate work just because you were too afraid to tell your office BFF that your plate’s too full?

3. Check in with your boss.

Every few weeks, depending on what you need, ask your boss for a few minutes. Update him or her on your current situation—good and bad. Is there anything he or she needs from you? Is there anything you need from the management? What should you improve on? Do you have new career goals you’d like him or her to be aware of? And even if everything is going smoothly, clocking in a little face time shows you value your professional and personal relationship.


Source: The Muse

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This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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