When you’re overwhelmed by the work you’re doing on a daily basis, you’re testing your limits and you’re close to total exhaustion. You know you have lots of tasks to cover, but all you’re thinking about is the next bite-sized delights you have on your mind. Unfortunately, you can’t find enough energy to test new recipes and comfort yourself with nice food.
Is there a way to prevent stretching yourself too thin? It’s time to start taking action. These 8 tips should help you achieve greater levels of productivity that will help you escape the burden of extreme workload.
1. Get Rid of All Distractions
Before you start complaining that you have too much work to do, ask yourself: how effectively are you using the time you have? Are your colleagues distracting you with unnecessary questions and conversations? Are you spending too much time on Reddit and social media? It’s time to get rid of the distractions.
Try using browser add-ons that block distracting pages. The Pomodoro Technique is a really useful way to get more productive: you work as effectively as possible for 25 minutes, and then you take a 5-minute break. You repeat the sessions as many times as necessary, but you’re allowed to take a longer break of 30 minutes somewhere in between. Try this method to see how it works for you, but make sure to stay completely focused on your work during those 25-minute working sessions.
2. Don’t Accept New Responsibilities
If you keep accepting new tasks and you’re always finding ways to deal with them, don’t expect for your boss to get all compassionate and start thinking “she/he is doing too much work… I should give a bonus and reduce the workload.” Nope; that won’t happen. You’ll just keep getting more and more assignments until the load reaches a point you can’t deal with.
Your boss, manager, or supervisor doesn’t know what stress you’re experiencing if you don’t express it. When he asks you to do something more and you know you can’t achieve it within the working hours, you can simply say that you cannot handle another responsibility. Speak up! Otherwise, your boss will simply assume there is no problem with your schedule and he’ll always try to stretch you a bit further.
3. Pick the Right Time to Talk to your Boss
If you’re already burdened with too much work that you can’t complete, then you’re in a tough situation: you have to ask your boss to redistribute the workload and give you some space. You have to pick the right moment for this conversation. Your boss shouldn’t be in a stressful situation.
Start by explaining that you’re doing your best to meet the expectations, but the workload has become unmanageable. Explain that the overload is affecting all tasks, so you can’t complete them as successfully as possible. Offer some suggestions on how to solve the problem, but do not try to blame other workers by saying they are doing less work for the same money. You can try to schedule a meeting with your boss so you are not intruding and ensure they are free to have a chat.
If all tasks you need to cover fit into your job description, there is not much you can complain about. If you didn’t achieve much by talking to your boss, then you’ll need to move on to the next strategy – making priorities. Write down all tasks in a list. Which ones are super important? It’s wise to start the day with the tasks that are really important, but overwhelming at the same time. Then, you can continue with the points that are important, but easier to handle. At the end of the day, you can focus your attention on the less urgent tasks.
Use Google Calendar or another similar online tool to note the deadlines for each time and plan the time you have. When you’re guided by a schedule that shows there is enough time for everything, the stress levels will be lower and you’ll be ready to tackle the priorities without procrastinations.
5. Don’t Take the Work Home
You need to separate your private life from your job. Your body and mind need some rest if you want to use them to their full potential.
You absolutely need a hobby and some privacy. Your job is an important part of your life, but you should never turn it into the only thing you’re thinking of. If you notice that you have zero time for your friends and family, it’s time for a drastic change and reduction of the workload.
6. Group Similar Tasks Together
When you have too many tasks to handle, group them in categories. For example, let’s say you have emails to send, blog posts to write, online comments to respond to, and some office paperwork to do. You can take care of all tasks that require online presence first, and then you’ll proceed to the next group of tasks.
If you’re going from one task to another that’s similar to it, you’ll easily get into shape. If on the other hand, you’re jumping from one activity to another, you’ll easily get tired before the end of the working day.
7. Take Several Short Breaks
When you’re dealing with long working hours, you have to take more breaks. Get up from the desk, eat some fruit, and stretch your back several times throughout the day. Don’t waste that precious time on social media; you need to get away from the computer screen! It’s great if you can stretch your legs in a 10-minute walk outside the office. Grab some coffee or a quick meal with a colleague, and you’ll be ready to get back to work in no time.
8. Recognize the Point of Exhaustion
Sometimes people keep neglecting the work overload until they reach the final point. If you get yourself in such situation, you need to face the reality: you’re exhausted and you can’t handle all that work. It’s not about giving up. It’s about being realistic: it’s better to ask your manager or your co-workers for some help than to push yourself when you know you can’t meet the deadlines.
Okay, it is time for you to get more productive with the way you handle your working responsibilities. It’s great to do more work in less time, but sometimes you just need a rest. Follow the 8 tips above if you want to avoid the burden of workload.
Read more: Overwhelmed With Too Many To-Dos?