It is safe to say that most workers have experienced times at work where they’ve been left feeling totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks they must complete. When your workload seems infinite, it is easy to fall down a slippery slope of panic – the more stressed you feel, the less focused you are and less likely you are to achieve your set goals.
The only sure fire to battle a high volume workload is to manage your time effectively. Can you say yes to the following questions?
Have you: Bought a day planner?
It may seem obvious, but investing in a diary or planner is the perfect (and easy) way to keep a record of everything you must complete, as well as deadlines and any extra information.
Have you: Created a to-do list?
In fact, have you created two? To properly manage your time, it’s best to have a daily to-do list, as well as an overall set of tasks. Sit down at the start of the week to figure out what must be completed by Friday, then spend 10 minutes every morning deciding what you’ll be able to complete by the end of the day.
Have you: Spilt your day into manageable sections?
Think of your day as made up of a number of units – in the morning, spilt your time up into realistic blocks. For example, if you consider 1 unit = 1 hour, allocate ½ unit in the morning to answer any emails, 2 units in the afternoon to create a database spreadsheet etc.
Have you: Prioritized your tasks?
It’s an easy trap to fall into- choosing actions that may be more enjoyable than others to complete first. Think about why you have been given a task to complete – what will it achieve? Will the results affect one of your colleagues? There’s a simple Signet motto you can remember, ‘Priorities over Preference’.
Have you: Given yourself realistic expectations?
Give yourself enough time and make sure you have the right tools to complete a task – otherwise you are setting yourself up to fail. Do you honestly think you will be able to create a presentation in ½ hour? Be honest with yourself to avoid being hard on yourself later on.
Have you: Checked off what you’ve completed?
Not only in order to keep a record of what has been done – but for the great, satisfying feeling that comes with a big tick!