how to learn to not care at work

Last Updated on February 23, 2022

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how to learn to not care at work

How to Care Less About Work

Caring Less About Work 

 9 Reasons to Care Less About Work

35 Ways to Care Less About Work

Caring Less About Work

Work is, for the majority of us, an essential part of life. We need it to pay the bills and do the things that we do. We shouldn’t not care about our work. Taking pride in what we do can bring us satisfaction and a purpose in life. However caring too much can have a detrimental effect on our lives from the stress it can bring to not spending the quality time that we should with our family and friends. Caring a little less can help bring a balance and calm to life. 

9 Reasons to Care Less About Work & 35 Ways to Care Less About Work below

Care less about work - man looking stressed at work

9 Reasons To Care Less About Work

woman looking worried at work - Reasons to care less about work - How to care less about work
  1. Less Stress: Work can be stressful. Starting to care less can alleviate the stress and pressure we put on ourselves on a daily basis.
  2. Spend More Quality Time: Caring less can mean a reduction in working time which can allow us to spend more time doing the things we enjoy and quality time with the people we choose to spend our time with.
  3. You’ll Most Likely Regret Caring Too Much: No one lies on their death bed wishing that they had worked more.
  4. Means to an End: We are paid money for our time. After that, leave the caring at the door.
  5. It’s Counterproductive: Caring too much can have a detrimental affect on our stress and concentrations levels which in turn can impact our productivity and output.
  6. You Won’t Get Upset As Much: If colleagues are negative about you or your work, you can brush it off more easily.
  7. Stop being So Demanding of Yourself: Take your foot off gas.
  8. Realising What’s Important: Caring less can help us see what (and who) is truly important in life.
  9. Look After Number One: Start caring about yourself and you life rather than the little things at work.

“Don’t work too hard. Try to maintain a balance. Don’t make work your whole life”BONNIE WARE

35 Ways To Care Less About Work

Take It For What It Is: A means to an end. It is important but do you really need to care or worry about it that much?

Make a Clean Break Between Work & Personal Life: Don’t take work home with you. Have a ritual in place that signals the end of work and start of personal life. Switch off and leave it

What Do You Want? Do you want to look back and have been an amazing friend/partner/parent or a workaholic who rarely spent the quality time they should have done. Wake up, it’s your choice.

Avoid pointless meetings and conference calls: Those meetings where you have no input and gain nothing from them. Stop going to them.

If There’s Nothing You Can Do About a Problem at Work: Stop worrying about it, there is nothing you can do

Block Time: Block time to get stuff done. It will alleviate stress and help you to care a little less.

Have Caring Time: If you find it impossible to care less, put some time aside in the day to care and worry about things. After that, ease off.

Let the Senior Leaders Worry: Chances are there are more senior people than you who get paid more than you. Let them do the worrying, they’re paid for it.

Meditate: Very good for clearing the mind and helping us focus on what is important, try some meditation (here).

Put Across Your Ideas Once: If you tell people your opinions, ideas and thoughts, that’s enough. If they want it, they’ll go with it. If they don’t want to take it onboard, let them get on with it. Just to note, this works in a job scenario but is certainly not the case for entrepreneurs / self-employed people!

Work Less: Do you get paid overtime? If not, why are you working more and what will you get out of it? Time is precious and you’ll never get it back. 

Be More Than Your Job: Don’t let your identity revolve around your job. Ensure your personal life is at least important as your professional life.

Leave on Time: Simple. Leave when you finish. What are you gaining by staying?

Is Caring Benefiting You or the World Around You: If not, let it go.

You Can’t Give 100% All of the Time: No one can. So don’t put pressure on yourself to do so.

Redefine What Success Means: Is success getting to that next level at work? What happens when you get there? Or is success having loving and lasting meaningful relationships and time to do what you want to do?

Don’t Cater to Other People’s Egos: People who shout the loudest can be a pain to keep up with. Let them shout and do their thing, Don’t get caught up in it. Leave them to it.

You Can’t Get Everything Done and Everything Right: So don’t put pressure on yourself to do so.

Care About What’s Important at Work: Look at your work, what are the important .things that need to be done? Don’t get bogged down in the stuff that doesn’t matter.

Care About What’s Important in Life: Where or who would you rather be spending your time with? Put your efforts there.

Does the Company Care About You: Could they easily replace you? Would they care if you were replaced? Do they care about you? Ask yourself these questions.

Think About What You’re Paid For: Most likely somewhere in the region of 40 hours per week. Do you get paid for any additional time? What happens to that time? You lose it, forever.

You Will Get Results Quicker: When you stop caring about the little things, you will get things done faster and most likely, more efficiently.

Take Breaks: Sitting in the same place for 8 hours a days grinding out work is not good for anyone. Take breaks, talk to colleagues, add a little time for peace and being social into your day.

Look After Number One: Look after yourself, no one else will.

Don’t Suck Up: It’s hard work and generally is annoying to the people that you work with. If you’re good, people will know that from your work.

Your Boss Probably Won’t Notice: Caring less is not about not caring at all. It’s about caring about the important things. Get the important things done and no one (including your boss) will notice the other things.

Don’t Read Every Email: Put a filter on so you can read the first line and then decide if it’s worth your time.

Where is Caring a Lot Going to Get you: Do you want a raise? Do you want to get to the next “Level”? If that’s important to you, then maybe you should care a lot. If not, then tone the caring down a little.

Work Smarter, Not Harder: A cliche but it works. Look at how you work, cut out the unnecessary faff, care less about the little things.

Don’t Constantly Check Email: Set time/s in the day to check it and be done with it.

The Rough with the Smooth: There are times when we are up against it and have to go all out. Don’t be scared to take those time back and take it easy when the going is smoother.

Set an Example to Others: If colleagues see that you are still able to get your work done without caring as much, they will follow. Share the wealth.

Know There Are Options: If you are over stressed or worry too much about work, consider a different job or even a different career. You only live once, don’t spend it caring about work too much. 

Talk About It: If you’re work is getting too much, talk to a friend, family or a professional (therapist or counsellor) to get the help that you need. 

how to train yourself not to care about work

How and Why You Should Care Less About Work

How and Why You Should Care Less About Work

Do you hate work? Are you thinking you really want to quit but can’t, yet everyday is a huge source of frustration and pain? Try caring less. It will make you happier. I promise.

First of all identify whether you’re taking work life way too seriously and personally:

  • Are you fed up of putting in 200% effort, to do a great job, to not be rewarded for doing so?
  • Have you been so frustrated with the way your company is doing things that you could almost scream with frustration?
  • Do you spend ages perfecting an unimportant email?
  • Are you rushing around from the moment the clock hits 9am, making sure you’ve answered all your emails and met everyone’s expectations?

If you have answered yes to these questions then maybe you need to care a little less.

Being passionate about your job is a double edged sword. It can make you extremely conscientious and no doubt you’ll be adding value to every piece of work you do. However it can also leave you frustrated when your value is not recognised, jaded from working your ass off and frankly boring. Who wants to spend their life complaining and moaning about work? No one on their death bed ever regrets not having worked harder. People regret not spending more time with friends, family and exploring the world, NOT work!

Don’t get me wrong, your frustrations may be completely valid, your boss could be making the wrong decision and the entire leadership team can be completely useless, but when you’ve thrown the kitchen sink at it and they are not changing course the only thing you can do is to not let it start negatively affecting your own personal happiness. And that is to not care so much. Why let other people’s incompetence ruin your week? Check in for work and then CHECK OUT.

As with all things in life, there is a balance to strike. This is not about not doing your job properly or skiving. We’re saying that instead of putting in 200% effort, maybe try just 100%. Actually hell no… try 80% because I bet your 80% might be most people’s 100%. And don’t forget that when you’re consistently putting in 200% you’re only actually devaluing yourself when your company isn’t recognising it, as they begin to see that as the norm, that that is your 100%. And you can’t endlessly keep upping your efforts and letting it bleed into your personal life.

So when your colleagues or bosses are being incompetent and making the wrong decisions, you can ask if they have thought about X , but if they don’t listen, well shrug your shoulders (in your head of course) and breathe. There is more to life than some person or persons disagreeing with you at work. It doesn’t lower your true value. It really says more about them that they cannot see your value than it does about you. No matter how much you try to prove your value, your great ideas, your solutions that have worked, they just won’t see it, so just try being that tad less passionate. And push that passion into other areas of your life where you can see a return, where more effort = more reward.

That might be learning an instrument, learning a language, gardening, blogging and watching your page views grow, creating an exciting date night with your other half, learning new recipes, or dare I say it moving to a new job where people do value you more.

Okay so maybe now you’re convinced that you just need to chill out a bit over work and not take your work life so seriously. But how do you do it? It’s not a switch you can just flick off. If someone is are acting like an idiot at work, you can’t just turn that emotion off right? It takes time and practice to chill out so below are a few ways to help:

1.) Remind yourself that your job is for paying the bills, and the lifestyle you want.

Your job is purely to fund your personal life, home life, family life. Your job IS NOT the most important part of your life.

Set goals in your personal life. For example for me I want to buy a house, and I know that my job contributes towards saving for that house. This is what my job is for, my job doesn’t define me. Just because a colleague was being dick today doesn’t mean I’m shit, it means I’ve ticked off another day towards getting paid, and towards living in that dream house with my husband.

2.) Remind yourself that there are more senior people than you who can do the caring.

There are leaders in the business who are probably paid more than twice what you earn so let them deal with it. So if they are happy to let the company make the wrong decision or turn a blind eye to problems, why are you caring more than them?

If your company is rotten, you’re not really going to be the one to change that. These are systemic, structural and cultural problems that you alone will not and should not be responsible for fixing.

3.) Put across your opinion, but if they don’t follow up, shrug it off and let them reap what they sow

Again there is a fine balance between not giving a shit at work and caring less. So still use your brain, offer your opinion and practice using your voice. You don’t want to get into a habit of not thinking and not being confident enough to air your views, you may eventually move to another job where people do value your thoughts so you don’t want to lose that muscle. However if your company isn’t listening, then that is their problem. End of.

4.) Realise that there is no point constantly trying to prove your value to people who cannot see it

Some things in life you will never be able to change. If your boss or company have labelled you as junior when you’re not junior and they don’t respect or value you then it’s possible you will never be able to change their minds. If you’ve already thrown everything you can at it and there is no improvement accept that they will not change. Don’t get into the downwards spiral of constantly trying to prove yourself. Your 200% effort will become the new 100% and so you’ll have to put in 300% effort and then 400% and so on, just to try and prove you’re more than what they see of you. It ain’t gonna happen. This is when work starts to become your whole life. Don’t let work take over your entire life or let it define who you are or how you feel about yourself.

5.) Try ranting a bit less! Create boundaries between work life and personal life.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to offload frustrations. But set a time limit like 30 minutes and then start living your personal life. Do you really want to be that person where your friend asks you how you’re doing and you spend the next entire 2 hours moaning about work?

The more you start creating stronger boundaries between your work life and personal life, the more you stop work becoming such a core part of who you are and letting work define whether you’re happy or not happy.

This means switching off from work when its 5pm. It also means taking your unpaid for lunch hour. Of course there are times you may need to work overtime to get some things done, but on the whole try to really limit working more than you need to.

Make sure you spend dedicated time towards the other spheres of your life: Family, Friends, Hobbies, Exercise etc.

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I’m at the beginning of my journey of caring less, and it’s not that easy. Sometimes I find myself already complaining at 09:10 in the morning when I’ve read an annoying email. The difference is I’m stopping myself within 30 secs. I’ve seen the light. I tell myself: “So what?! Respond and move on. I’m looking forward to my curry tonight and watching Breaking Bad on repeat. All is good.” 🙂

I hope you find this article comforting. Let me know your thoughts and how’re you’re doing in the comments below.

GOOD LUCK.

Women On The Ladder

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