How to Manage Work Overload.
I know it's spring, but some of the days seem darker because we're overwhelmed with work. How do we go about ridding ourselves of that overwhelming feeling and just get to it?
It reminds me of that saying that we've heard countless times before, "How do you eat an elephant?... one bite at a time." Well, I think work is no different. You've got to dissect your work. You got to break it down into three key pieces. I call them plays.
- First, I ask myself what am I doing, why am I doing it, and how am I going to do it?
- Next, what I know are going to be the things that are probably, more than likely, making me overwhelmed. This the grind portion, things I don't feel a hundred percent about. Where am I going to see little potholes in this process?
- Finally, when I'm complete, when I'm done, I ask myself where do I go next, or, how do I hand this particular task off? And that's it, that's the play.
Now, you take those plays and you prioritize them. What you are going to do first? What you are going to do second, so on and so forth. Now you've got your plan in front of you. I know it seems weird. So why am I going to go through all of this? I should just get to it. The problem is, if you don't lay it all out into these plays, and then if you don't prioritize your plays, you're going to let yourself just go at it. You're going to feel like you're out of control.
Once you prioritize, you just do three columns. Here's what I have to do. Here's what I'm doing. When I'm done to put it in that magical column…. DONE. Now I can visualize everything I'm going after. That overwhelming feeling is dissipating. My workload is still there. It still feels like a ton, but I got a plan on how I'm going to go get it.
Now, the other KEY to battling that OVERWHELM is (you've maybe have heard this before too) you got to break down the time. You set a limit of 50 minutes on portions of that plan that you've put together for the day. And then give yourself 10 minutes off. Go grab a cup of coffee, go for a walk, go read a book, do something to just unwind for 10 minutes. Don't pick up the phone, just get in your head and get relaxed. After the break, it's 50 minutes back on working the plan, visualize the plan and have the steps in the plan that you're going to go after. You're going to lessen that overwhelming feeling. It's not going to lessen the total work, but now you've taken that elephant and broke it down into the bites that you're going to eat. You're going to be a hell of a lot more successful.
Remember all this stuff ebbs and flows. So it's not going to last forever. And if you just keep working the plan, you're going to be successful and less stressed out.