Drowning under the tidal wave of work?
Here are 5 strategies to manage that.
You feel it in your achy muscles, heavy head, and deep exhales.
What is this ‘it’? It is the growing wave of workload you manage, manifesting in numerous to-do lists, interminable hours, and seamless multi-tasking. Nevertheless, sometimes, inspite of all efforts, this work-wave does come crashing down.
But hey, we are here to tell you that you can ride this wave. Here are five strategies that’ll enable you to say “Surf’s Up!”
Prune your to-do list. To gauge the intensity of your efforts, list everything you need to do in a given day/ week. Now, take a good look at this list and remove anything that doesn’t really need to be completed right away. Only the most critical tasks make the cut. It may be difficult at first. Just imagine this as a recruitment process for filtering out tasks that don’t fit your priority and need.
This leads us to the strategy of scheduling. Everything cannot be done together, and thus needs planning. Use the time of the day when you have maximum energy for tackling big chunks of work. Responding to emails can be scheduled for 2-3 separate slots in a day. Is there something that can be pushed to later in the week? Do it! For tech-savvy workers, apps like Mynd, Any. do and Fantastical, are helpful to schedule.
Next, delegate the tasks that don’t go on your to-do. This can be lateral, downwards, as well as upwards. Lean into the value of team work, and ask for support from your boss in completing tasks which she is specialized in. Laterally, your team can pitch in for churning out the finished product, after you’ve done your core work. However, avoid the temptation of delegating tasks that you don’t like doing. That’s a slippery slope for work ethics!
With what you own, maximize your output by adopting the law of diminishing returns. Simply put, limit the amount of dedicated time associated with a certain task, to achieve maximum impact. For example, spending just one hour each day on social media to network, or fixing two hours per day for in-person meetings. The key here is to know that increasing amount of time spent = lesser impact.
And finally, embrace your downtime. Workload will wax and wane. In between these phases, recharge and de-stress as much as you can. Even amidst all the intensity, you can schedule a 15 minute coffee-walk. Or maybe some no-technology time. It is all about an activity that’ll refresh you.
What do you think about these strategies? Share your ideas in the comments. And remember, business does not necessarily equate with busyness.