Ways to Keep on Top of Your Workload
When you are expected to do a lot of work and find yourself in a situation where you are unable to manage your tasks, the results you produce may lack in quality. Because of this, you overthink that you are creating subpar results and it creates a cycle of never-ending disappointments that can lead to stress— which can cause physical effects on your body such as migraines, headaches or even fatigue.
But fear not, there are ways to manage your workload that can make your career life easy and stress-free. People underestimate how much effort and time you give when you work. Because of this, we waste a lot of time that could have been useful. One skill that is best to acquire for this is having time management.
This article will give you advice on how to get started on having time management skills that you can use on your own work routine.
1. NEVER TAKE ON TOO MUCH.
We all strive to impress the seniors and higher ups for that promotion or a possible raise. So we do what we think can make us look capable, and in return be rewarded for our efforts.
Yes, we should always try to do our best and aim for the top but it should be to a degree. When we are confident in ourselves, we tend to believe that we can do more than what we can normally handle. We shouldn’t think like this as we have a limit to what we can do before burnout happens.
Your higher ups would think that you are an impressive employee for being a yes-man but if you are unable to deliver the tasks you agreed on, you set yourself as a disappointment, thus creating a reputation that you cannot be trusted again in the future.
Learn to say no and take in tasks that use your skills best. With this you can produce above expectation results. This is another way to impress and it sets up an image that you are an advantage to the company without tiring yourself.
2. LEARN TO PRIORITIZE
Try to create a list of all the tasks that you need to do in order of priority. Tasks that have earlier deadline are your top priority.
It is best to also have a calendar in your line of sight. Not only that it helps you keep track of the day but it helps you see how far or near your deadlines are. In our age of technology, there are applications that you can use in managing your task lists. One example is the Calendar app on mobile devices.
If you’re an artsy person, you may even go as far as the traditional route and use planners along with the use of colourful pens, markers, highlighters and post-its. You may find this part even therapeutic as you mark and organize your tasks.
You can also categorize certain tasks into small groups to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed from seeing your unorganized tasks. You can try marking tasks that you do on repeat by marking them as daily, weekly or monthly tasks.
3. CREATE A SCHEDULE
Once you have an idea of the tasks you have to do, you create a time table for it.
Figure out your daily routine. This includes the times for when your company does breaks, meetings and other scheduled tasks. This helps you look at the times you cannot control and be able to work around it.
This also means looking back and seeing where you spend most of your time on. Assess your previous routine and find out if you’re spending less time on your actual work and more time on bonding with your co-workers or mindlessly looking on social media.
This helps you know what needs to be changed in order to create an efficient schedule that can make working easier and finishing tasks faster.
Creating schedules is also useful for urgent tasks that should be done as soon as possible so you can look at your schedule and know when you need to push back tasks to be able to accommodate the new ones. If you don’t have a schedule, you would feel like tasks are stacking up on you and even miss on deadlines in the end.
4. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS
Once you have an idea on how your normal work schedule goes, you can make necessary adjustments. You can lessen the time you exert on unimportant matters and put it where you most need it.
Decluttering your office space can be a good start. A messy work station can be extremely distracting as you might also find your mind feeling stuffed or crowded with all the clutter around. Remove items that you think aren’t beneficial to your work. This also helps you organize supplies where you can easily find them instead of losing time shuffling through drawers just to find one item. Putting labels on them and grouping them into one place can be helpful.
If your company allows, you can listen to non-distracting music that isn’t too loud or music that doesn’t distract you but keeps you awake enough. This depends on your preference though. Some people listen to classical music while others listen to ambient sounds. This also can be a way to cancel out background noise if your coworkers are loud and you can’t focus because of it.
Another way you can remove distractions is to use apps that block access to certain sites for a period of time. Let’s face it, checking that notification can be tempting and we might think, “It’s just for a minute, right?” Well, that minute suddenly turns into several minutes or hours and before you realize it, you have lost crucial time that you could’ve used working.
5. BE EFFICIENT AND SMART
Work smart not hard, as they say. If you go into projects without a plan, you will lose time that you could’ve used for other tasks.
You can try doing tasks that you do on routine and have already gotten used to—tasks that you don’t have to give a lot of thinking and effort which is a lot easier and faster to finish. Then you can move on to doing tasks that require more effort and start to make progress on that until you reach a milestone. After that, you can move on to another important task and make progress on that. This allows you to make significant progress on every task especially when your seniors are asking for your progress update.
On the other hand, you may also try starting out with big tasks first and try to create significant progress on these tasks before doing smaller tasks.
When creating your work strategy, the is key is to find the right balance between a working style you’re comfortable with and a working style that utilizes your skills and time.
By thinking smart and creating a work plan, you can make use of your time wisely and properly do tasks without feeling like you are losing time.
Your workmates that are closest to you are the ones who understand your circumstances the best when it comes to work.
Be honest and communicate to your workmates when you cannot meet the requirements of a task. You have to let them know about important matters like these instead of jeopardizing the projects.
Try reaching out to them if a certain task is hard and you need help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help especially when you want to produce amazing results. Your coworkers might even know how to do this task in an easier way or provide you information that can help you in a certain task.
This lets others know you are a team-player and are eager to learn from others. You seniors have been through the same thing and they can even pass on knowledge to you.
Remember, someone else knows something that you don’t. Use it to your advantage to learn.
7. ADAPT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Of course, you cannot work if your body is weak and don’t have the energy to even start your tasks. A healthy body will keep your mind and body in top shape which can make you alert and can help you focus more.
You should always have enough sleep. Being tired at work sets you up for drowsiness and you exert more effort in keeping yourself awake instead of working on your tasks. Coffee is great help during times like these but it wears out and damages your body in the long run.
Getting enough sleep also helps you wake up early and gives you more time to get to work and start tasks earlier than you should. This gives you more time to finish work, go home early and rest.
Being healthy also prevents you from taking a lot of sick leaves. Missing out on work days can lead to tasks piling up and tasks having no progression. You lose days as you draw near to your deadline.
These are a couple of advice that you can incorporate to your own routine and strategy. There isn’t really a linear way of doing work as people tend to work differently from each other. The important thing is finding the right system that works for you.
Discipline yourself to remember the rules that you set out for yourself. When you do certain habits for a long time, they tend to stick. When you do things repeatedly, they become easier. By setting yourself a routine where you are able to do work efficiently, you create an image for yourself that you are dependable, fast but able to put out high quality results.
Not only is time management helpful in your work setting, it also helps you outside it. It helps you manage time with loved ones, friends or for yourself. This way you can spend time with things important to you while also not ignoring your career and dreams. This helps you experience everything with your best potential without straining yourself.