5 ways to reduce burnout and boost efficiency at work

Harish Sharma C L, Group Vice President, Head – HR, IT and Administration, Toyota Financial Services India Ltd, on how he maintains productivity at work. By Shweta Gandhi

Harish Sharma C L has around 15 years of experience in the Financial Services and Banking industry spanning across general management, IT, HR and admin functions. Prior to Toyota Financial Services India Ltd, he was with ANZ for more than 10 years, working across IT and Project Portfolio domains. His strength lies in setting things up from scratch, including teams, systems, and processes, and ensuring IT becomes the true backbone of the company. He was recognised as a Financial Services Icon at CIO Power List in 2015 and 2016. Here, he tells us how he keeps himself productive and efficient at work.

1. Strict self discipline
“This is fundamental when trying to create and maintain a structure that will help you do things more efficiently and effectively. If you are not disciplined, you will get stuck (sooner or later!). And it’s safe to say that you need to have discipline in your personal as well as professional life—that’s how you balance it. You’ve got to build clear boundaries, where you figure out what works for you, be it for your family or for your team. One example is to dedicate one entire day on the weekend to your family where you’re completely disconnected from work. That way you spend quality time with your family. Practice it week after week, and make the best of it.”

2. Accept that not everything will go as per plan
“Time management for me is concentrated on the 24 hours in a day. When you’re a senior executive, you realise that your time is also dependent on others; so you don’t have complete control over it. Your day can be very dynamic, you may plan to do A, B and C, but end up working on A, X and Y. However, there are projects that you can’t postpone. You may have to stay back in office or go home and close the project you’re working on. Whenever you get bogged down, until and unless it’s not critical, sleep over it, start again, and you’ll notice that you’re much faster and effective. Ideally, if possible, that’s how you should do it. You have to come out of your jugaad mentality at times —don’t run from your work and take responsibility for your tasks.”

3. Share your calendar with others
“Calendar management is important. Make your calendar visible to your team members, peers and superiors so that there is clarity. They can see how your day is structured and can accordingly plan a meeting or block time with you when you’re free. Hence, no work or project gets stalled or delayed because your availability is not known.”

4. Belief in a collective vision
“New experiences, new learnings, and new achievements (doing things I haven’t done before or even others haven’t done before) give me a feeling of success. To get the best outcome, there has to be a drive to work towards a collective vision. Majority of my time goes in that and in enabling it in others as well. Once you are able to communicate and get your team to believe in the goal, then half your task is complete. It makes things clear for them, about what they have to do and how they have to do it. Teamwork is crucial. And as an individual driving it, my success depends a lot on the level of clarity and belief I can bring to the strategies and plans that we have set to achieve our goals.”

5. Cull out time for yourself
“You need to balance your work with your social life. I enjoy photography and play sports like badminton to keep my mind active. I don’t believe in work-life balance, because that implies that work comes outside your life. Your life is one life, and your work is part of that life. Today’s world requires us to be online all the time, and work may interfere with our home affairs—it’s quite mixed up. The crux is how you plan your life and how you give enough time to yourself and your family.” 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


  • Posted: July 12, 2016 18:52

    Aniket Kachhawa

    Accept that not everything will go as per plan and Cull out time for yourself, are 2 opposite things but yet goes hand in hand. Thanks for sharing your views.
  • Posted: July 13, 2016 10:50

    Surendran Ramadas

    Excellent Article . More of realistic approach .
  • Posted: July 13, 2016 17:37

    Elsa Mammen

    Simple and practical points . Good read.Thanks for sharing your views.
  • Posted: July 17, 2016 14:16

    Harish Sharma

    Thank you everyone for your kind words!

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.