Handling a heavy workload can easily get the best of you, causing you to feel tired, stressed, and on the edge of total burnout. If you feel like you're on the cusp, realize that there are tactics that will keep you from suffering the stresses of taking the whole world on your shoulders. You want to do well at your job, to become a stand out employee known for reliability and creativity – and that's awesome. Just remember that if you start burning out, your performance is going to suffer. Before you get to that point, take a look at some helpful tricks for handling a heavy workload.
1. Put Your Priorities in Order
Prioritizing is essential when you're handling a heavy workload. If your priorities aren't in order, or if they're in the wrong order, you'll continue feeling overwhelmed and you may start to miss deadlines. Rather than running that risk, prioritize your tasks. Create a to-do list every day you come into work, and place the most important tasks at the top. Don't try to multitask either; focus on finishing each task flawlessly before moving onto the next. Take it a day at a time, and you may find you even have time left over at the end of the week.
2. Come up with a Time Management Strategy
Part of prioritizing your tasks involves having a good time management strategy. Don't waste a single second. You may think that multitasking will help you manage your time better, but you're more likely to get frustrated and tied up as you move between projects. Try to time how long it takes to do certain tasks so you have a reasonable idea of how much time you should spend on each one. Streamline as many processes as you can as well, so you're not over-complicating anything..
3. Start Delegating Tasks
If you're working with or heading up a team, how are they helping? Are you utilizing them? You need to start. Take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of your coworkers. If you have a team member who's a whiz at cold calling or using PowerPoint, delegate those tasks. Your team is an integral part of every project, so give them time to shine as well.
4. Eliminate Anything That Wastes Time
Are you repeating unnecessary tasks? This falls in line with time management, but goes a little further. If you're sending out the same email to every team member separately, for instance, create a mailing list instead. Rather than asking questions ten times a day, set aside some time for each coworker to ask questions or put forth ideas. Don't waste time on the phone when you don't need to, stay away from social networking, and eliminate any other distractions that keep you from your duties.
5. Find a Better Way to Organize
What does your workspace look like? How about your computer? Disorganization and clutter can increase your workload just because they make it harder for you to find what you need. Get rid of any clutter on and around your desk, and take the time to create a neat desktop on your computer as well. Make folders for templates, current projects, future projects, and things of that nature. You'll waste far less time looking around for what you need.
6. Ask for Help
Delegating tasks is one thing, but sometimes you need more help. Don't be afraid to ask for it occasionally. Talk to your boss, your assistant, your team members, and other coworkers. You can also ask for help at home. If you need to devote more time to work a few days a week, ask your spouse, partner, or children to pitch in with the chores.
7. Take Time for You
It might seem counterproductive to take time for yourself when you're trying to handle a heavy workload, but it's not. If you're always stressed out and tensed, you can't give 100 percent to your job. Whether you take time to relax at lunch or get pampered on the weekends, make sure you allow yourself to relax. Your work performance will benefit from it.
You can handle anything; you're strong, competent, and talented. You're a superstar! In fact, you're Superwoman! However, even she had to get a little help now and then, so don't feel ashamed if you do as well. Has work ever gotten the better of you? Let us know how you coped with a heavy workload.