Dealing with your workload and how not to fall behind

Dealing with your workload and how not to fall behind

We all have those times at work where we feel like it’s just too much. Being overwhelmed and falling behind at work may be a universal paradox. Sometimes the workload can get the better of you and you just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But it is possible to get back on track even if you feel you are drowning. So here is how to get your head above water again, and hopefully keep it there.

Review and Plan

Take 20 minutes every morning to review your calendar and create a to-do lists for the day. This allows you to be prepared for whatever the day ahead has to offer.

This habit often goes overlooked it can be tempting to jump right in as soon as you get to the office, or you simply just don’t have the time to plan out your day. It doesn’t take long to draw up a quick list of priorities for the day, placing more urgent work first and more important, ongoing work last.

But not having a morning review could leave possible surprise’s that slip your mind. Look at your list at the end of the day and week – put the things that you didn’t manage to get done this week on next week’s list. You know now that it won’t be forgotten so you can leave the office on a Friday feeling like you’re not falling behind.

Dealing with your workload and how not to fall behind

Be honest with yourself

…and your colleagues!

It’s okay to admit to yourself when you are drowning. Request a meeting with your team manager and bring any of your concerns with a plan in place to accomplish what you can.

Here are some tips:

  • Go through what your priorities, goals, and objectives are for all of your projects, so it’s clear to everyone what can and cannot get done.
  • Recognise your abilities and limitations. Demonstrate that you’ve identified the problem that caused you to fall behind
  • Have clear and open channels of communication so everyone knows where they stand
Dealing with your workload and how not to fall behind

Ask for help

If your workload can’t be reduced, it may be time to bite the bullet and ask for assistance, even if you’re afraid to do so.

Your work mates and manager will be a lot more appreciative of the fact that you are being proactive and communicative about falling behind, rather than letting it snowball out of control.

Your manager is probably quite good at time management so they should be able to help you with prioritising your tasks and getting back on track.

Dealing with your workload and how not to fall behind

Manage expectations

When your work load is extreme, you’re more likely to miss deadlines or under-deliver. Get on top of the problem early by negotiating deadlines and the capacity of your work. You might agree to deliver a project in stages to your client over a longer time frame, in exchange for a payment plan or discount.

Sometimes saying “no” to more work is the only option. You may think saying “no” is unthinkable, and you have probably conditioned yourself into accepting work whenever it comes, but as I mentioned before, being honest with yourself and colleagues can only benefit the business overall.

Take a Break

In my experience, people commonly don’t take breaks when they feel they are falling behind because they are so stressed about their workload.

Taking a break allows you to refresh, reset, and come back to your work with fresh eyes and re-prioritise your tasks. Go outside on a nice day, make yourself a cup of tea, make sure you’re drinking enough water, or just get up and move your legs!

Dealing with your workload and how not to fall behind

If you are feeling overwhelmed and there’s something we can do to help, get in touch with us today.