Overhauling Overload

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I was talking with a friend of mine recently who was telling me how overloaded she was at work. When I asked her how come, she told me that they just have a lot of projects going on and she just gets work piled on her. As we discussed the situation a bit more, she soon began to describe the two key aspects of work overload that befalls many us.

The first is the fact that there is a lot more work to do and our organizations usually don’t have any methodology to address it while the second is that many of us lack personal systems to better manage our own priorities. We’ll take a look at organizational ideas next week but for now, here are some activities guaranteed to help you get back on track.

  • Work less. Research shows that long work hours decrease efficiency. Map out your daily schedule to emphasize getting key work done early (if you are a morning person or reverse if you are an afternoon person) and get out of the office at a reasonable time.
  • Start saying “no.” This is one of the hardest things to say to colleagues or bosses but by explaining your priorities and commitment to the mission, you make a powerful statement of your own self-management.
  • Control your devices. Look around and see how much time is spent checking email, Facebook or sports scores. All worthy activities in their own right but time wasters that have you working until 9 at night. Your call.
  • Chunk your work. It may be not possible to get everything done in the prescribed time frame and that can lead to feelings of frustration and anticipatory failure. Instead work on what you can get done today and you’ll soon see you are making steady progress.
  • Talk to your boss and team: Shine a light on workload so that you and your team can discuss all that has to be done and how it fits into your workplace mission. More brainpower=better solutions.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015

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