We have all had days in our professional careers where we felt we had too much work and not enough time in the day to finish it all.
Toward the end of 2016, a study by Wrike came out stating nearly 6 in 10 employees feel their workloads have gone up. Further, a fifth reported they felt work demands had increased “significantly.”
However, that’s not all — 47% of respondents across various sectors stated they work longer hours to get the job done than they had a year ago. A third of managers also confirmed they expect employees to put in this extra time and take fewer breaks to meet the demands of their growing task lists.
With this cultural shift happening before our eyes, the size of our workloads is not going anywhere and department budgets are not growing, managers in call centers are struggling to get the work done without staff burnout, hiring more employees or losing efficiency.
So, how do you effectively manage a heavy workload?
Here are six strategies for managing a heavy workload and tackling the extra items on your to-do list:
1. Look At How To Reduce Workload Of Employees
To cope with the extra workload, call center managers need to be creative.
Asking your agents to “turn up the crank” and work faster and harder won’t solve your problems. Chances are they are already doing their best to turn out quality work as quickly as possible.
When dealing with an excessive workload, you and your team need to find more efficient ways to get the job done. Scheduling a brainstorming session with your agents is a great place to start and will give you brownie points with them for exercising your listening skills. Use your workforce to find creative ways to simplify processes or eliminate certain tasks.
By addressing this as a team, you will get a variety of ideas and foster an environment that shows you value their input.
2. Prioritize And Set Achievable Deadlines
One item all managers are guilty of is adding instead of helping employees to reduce workloads. If you and your team are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to take a step back and see what is necessary and what can afford to cull from the to-do list.
Look at the team’s individual responsibilities, your team’s collective obligations and goals and assess prioritizing activities or tasks. Not all tasks deserve the same importance, and not everything has to be turned in yesterday. Setting priorities and realistic deadlines helps your team focus on what really matters.
Ensure that the goals are realistic and achievable. When done badly, goals have the ability to be destructive to agents’ morale and productivity. According to Srikant M. Datar, the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Accounting at Harvard University and contributor to the Goal Setting module of Harvard ManageMentor , when goals are done poorly, they “do not achieve the goal of motivating employees and helping them achieve better performance as they were designed to do.”
3. Assess Yourself
Self-reflection and awareness are difficult to master but are necessary skills for any manager. As you develop strategies on how to manage a high workload, you need to set aside time to assess if you are making work more difficult. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you micromanage your staff?
- Are you indecisive?
- Do you fail to follow up on issues brought to your attention?
- What kind of atmosphere do you create in the call center?
While it’s never easy to admit our faults, when times are tough, effective leaders need to suck it up and work on bettering themselves to improve their team’s output.
4. Practice Being A Good Communicator
There’s nothing worse than working for leadership who refuses to acknowledge there is a problem.
While it’s not always possible to prevent the amount of work landing on employees’ desks, it can help their performance if they know you care and understand the difficulties they are facing.
It’s important that your staff feel like they can trust you with their grievances and know that you will take into consideration what they have to say.
Contact center managers can practice being excellent communicators by keeping their agents informed on any updates, showing employees that you have a plan to help them meet their targets, and including them as much as possible in the decision-making process. Incorporating empathy for the agent experience into the way communications are handled will only further their trust in the company.
5. Take It One Chunk At A Time
A simple way to break down a heavy workload is to take it one small chunk at a time. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture, reduce your scope and break it down into simple and actionable to-do’s that will lead your team to reach their goals.
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Schedule a meeting with your team and decide on three goals to focus on for that week. Once decided, ask each person to identify what steps they must take in order to achieve that goal. By dissecting an extensive project, your team will feel more focused, and their task lists will become more manageable.
6. Take Breaks
Encourage your employees to take breaks from their work. Yes, you read that right. You are only shooting yourself in the foot if you think it is more effective to work straight through the day. A study of office workers and managers by Staples found 66% of employees do not take a break other than lunch.
It’s scientifically proven that taking breaks from work keeps us from getting bored, helps us remember information and allows us to reevaluate our goals. Encourage your call center agents by walking for a small amount of time, which can contribute to boosting creative thought, or grab a cup of coffee, meditation, or even a 10-minute workout.
So there you have it, six strategies on how to manage a heavy workload effectively in your call center. From becoming more efficient to assess ourselves and encouraging regular breaks, there’s something on this list every manager can implement to increase productivity and reduce stress in the frantic environment that defines the call center industry.
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We’re all busy, however, generally, we undergo intervals the place the work piles up and it looks like it would by no means finish .
You might need such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even begin .
That’s when you must take a step again , take a deep breath, and begin taking a look at what’s working and what’s not working.
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1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All
Many of us tend to suppose we will do greater than we truly can. We tackle increasingly more initiatives and accountability and put on quite a few hats.
We all have the chance to have and tackle extra work than we will moderately anticipate getting completed . Unfortunately, our workload shouldn’t be static. Even now, if you are studying this text , I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with contemporary new duties .
To make actual , efficient progress, you need to have each the braveness and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you may do all of it and search for higher options .
At any given time in your life, there are probably many issues that aren’t going by the plan. You should be prepared to be sincere with your self and people around you about what’s not working for you, each personally and professionally.
The extra you train your potential to inform the reality about what’s working and what’s not working, the quicker you’ll make progress.
2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a frontrunner or working as a part of a group , each particular person has distinctive strengths they’ll deliver to the desk .
The problem is that many individuals find yourself doing issues that they’re merely not superb at.
In the pursuit of reaching your targets or delivering a mission , folks find yourself doing the whole lot themselves or taking up issues that don’t play to their distinctive strengths. This can lead to frustration, overwhelm and overwork.
It can imply initiatives taking lots longer to finish due to data gaps, or just not using the distinctive strengths of different folks you’re employed with.
It is usually not about to find out how to full this mission extra successfully however who might help ship this mission .
3. Take Time Out
To keep on high of a heavy workload, it’s vital to take a day trip to relaxation and recuperate.
If your vitality ranges are excessive and your thoughts and physique are refreshed and alert, you might be in additional of a peak state to deal with a heavy workload.
Take day trip of your day to go for a stroll or get some train in. Leave early when attainable and spend time with individuals who offer you a variety of vitality .
In the background, it’s important to get nighttime sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the thoughts .
4. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Maintaining wholesome work-life stability may be robust . The stability all of us crave may be very different from each other .
Working longer and tougher doesn’t imply attaining extra , particularly in case you have no time to spend with those who matter most. The high quality of who you might be as an individual , the relationships you may have , the time you spend in work, deciding on what issues most is totally inside your management .
Work-life stability is about discovering peace inside your self to be current , wherever you might be , whether or not that be within the workplace or at the house , proper now. It’s about selecting what issues most and creating your individual balanced life.
If you’re feeling there’s not sufficient stability , then it could be time to make a change.
5. Stop Multitasking
Multi-tasking is a fable . Your mind merely can’t work successfully by doing a couple of factors at a time— at the very least a couple of factors that require targeted consideration .
So get your checklist of priorities (see earlier level ), do a very powerful factor first, then transfer to the subsequent merchandise and work down your checklist .
When you break up your focus over a large number of various areas, you may persistently ship an excessive efficiency . You gained be current on the one job or mission at hand.
If you allocate blocked time and create agency boundaries for particular actions and commitments, you gained feel so overwhelmed or overworked with the whole lot you need to do.
6. Work in Blocks of Time
To maintain your vitality as much as produce your greatest outcomes it’s important to take common breaks.
I exploit the 60-60-30 technique myself and educate it to my teaching shoppers .
Work for a sustained interval of 50 minutes.
Then take a 10-minute break. This may very well be taking a stroll , having a wholesome snack or simply having a dialog with somebody .
Then proceed to work on the mission for an extra 50 minutes.
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Then take one other 10-minute break.
Then take a whole 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This may very well be time for a correct lunch, a fast little bit of train , studying or having a stroll .
By merely taking a while out, your vitality ranges keep up, the standard of your work improves and also you scale back the danger of turning into burned out.
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Work can sometimes be overwhelming. One minute you think everything’s in control and the next – you have too many deadlines.
Managing projects can be a challenge for any freelancer. The pressure can cause a lot of stress and sleepless nights, which isn’t suitable for anyone. So how do you deal with a heavy workload? The following tips will give you a few pointers.
Assess your current situation
Firstly, sit down and go through your client list and projects. Identify problem areas and come up with ways to positively tackle them. If you’re discovering that you have a particular client who’s taking up too much time, it might be wise to ditch them. Or it could be that the phone keeps going and disrupting your productivity. Whatever it is, tackle it.
Set realistic deadlines
One of the main reasons why work can become a problem is when you don’t give yourself enough time to complete a project. Clients can often demand a quick turnaround and put pressure on you to set unrealistic deadlines. Or it might be that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
Don’t be afraid to set realistic deadlines. You’ll avoid making yourself look bad and disappointing the client in the long run. If the client complains, reiterate that you want to produce quality work and that means you need time.
Create a schedule
It might be an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how many freelancers still don’t bother to maintain a proper work calendar. That’s whether you use a traditional diary, Excel spreadsheet, whiteboard or some task management – it’s so important to schedule your work. Give yourself ample time to complete each project and allow contingencies for any inevitable obstacles.
Stick to the plan
No matter what you do – don’t forget your work calendar and stick to it. Don’t be scared of turning work down or delaying any new projects until there’s more room in your schedule. You only have so many hours in each day, and you don’t want to kill yourself. Taking on too much work will only stress you out and make you less productive. Your work will suffer also.
Take one step at a time
Break down each project into more manageable chunks, giving yourself little milestones to make the work more manageable. Spread out each milestone over realistic timescales and keep the client informed of your progress. Don’t forget to allow a little extra time for any unhidden issues that may arise and stick to these smaller deadlines.
Iron out any distractions
If work is building up and you’re not getting things done as fast as you’d like, then perhaps you’re suffering from disturbances. Consider switching off your phone during busier times and avoid checking social media.
Boost your productivity
Being a freelancer means you only have yourself to rely upon. That means you have to look after yourself. Boost your productivity by sleeping and eating well, taking lots of breaks and enjoying lots of exercise to reduce stress.
Manage client expectations
Keep your clients happy by keeping them in the loop. Keep the communication channels open throughout any project, and your client will be satisfied that you’re doing your best. If you think you’re not able to deliver on time, it’s much better to inform the client and be honest. They’ll appreciate you letting them know.
Increase your rates
If work isn’t becoming more manageable and you’ve tried all of the above, perhaps it’s time to increase your rates. Because it could be that you’re too affordable. By making yourself more expensive during busier times, you’ll take on less work for more money.
As you prepare for a job interview, you may plan your response to common questions like, “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you?” But one slightly less common question you may want to think about before your next interview is, “How do you manage a heavy workload?”—especially if you’re interviewing for a remote role.
Hiring managers are often interested in knowing how employees handle a full plate, so to speak. They want to understand your process.
If you’re questioned by a potential employer about how you would manage a heavy workload and aren’t sure how to answer, read on!
Understand the question.
Asking how you would deal with a large amount of work can be classified as a behavioral interview question. It’s the type of question that is designed for a potential employer to find out more about your personality and determine how you’ll react to future events based on past behavior. While the interviewer is looking to find out how you’d handle a heavy workload, they’re actually trying to gain a deeper insight into your character and if you’ll ultimately be a fit for the company.
Be a STAR.
Once you’ve determined that you’re being asked a behavioral question during a job interview, it’s good to know that there’s an easy formula for answering it. It’s called the STAR format, which stands for Situation or Task, Action, and Results. Essentially, your answer should start off with a similar situation being posed by your interviewer, the action you took to remedy the situation, and most importantly, the results you achieved. Don’t forget the last part, since it’s not just about identifying a problem and your reaction to it that counts, but ultimately the results achieved that truly matter.
Know what to say.
In the case of managing a heavy workload, you’ll want to have a strategy for answering it. You can say something like:
“Everyone has faced a heavy workload at some point or another in their career. For me, being able to take a step back and observe the situation can give me greater clarity and objectivity. Instead of diving in and trying to do it all—and all at once—I’ve found that it’s best to prioritize the tasks at hand. While everything might appear to be urgent, that might not necessarily be the case. So I would organize the projects that need to be done right away, and communicate with my team and boss to make sure that we’re all on the same page in terms of prioritizing.”
Offer an example.
After you’ve shown that you understand the question by providing an answer similar to the one above, it’s story time! Cite an example of a similar situation in which you were faced with a heavy workload, what you did (i.e., the tasks you completed and why you chose those), and the results you achieved. This shows that you can handle this interview question—and a heavy workload, too!
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As CEO of a rapidly growing company it can feel like I’m running from fire-to-fire, dealing with the pressing needs of the company while trying to address longer-term needs. There are parts of the job I instinctively gravitate to, there are the things that bubble up within the company and there are requests for my time that come from outside. The demands on my time are always in flux.
There are points in the last eight years where my workload has taken a toll on me. It’s a situation I imagine a lot of people can relate to at many levels of management. It’s been a constant process of triage and balance to adapt to a fast paced workload and maximize my effectiveness as a CEO.
It’s taught me five important things about time management.
Procrastination is a valuable indicator
As you work through your daily checklist, you can learn a lot from what gets punted. If you keep missing a deadline, it’s a sign that you need to reassess something. You either hate doing it, which means that it’s worthwhile considering whether someone else should be doing it–or it’s not as important to you, or the company, as you imagined. Procrastination is a habit that we all fight against, but that instinct to delay can teach you a lot about where your priorities really lie.
Trying to do everything doesn’t scale
As Credit Karma has grown quickly over the last few years I’ve had to learn to say no, to both requests for my time and my own desire to do everything. You have to find the best ways to scale your own time. For instance, as a new CEO, a lot of other CEOs were generous in offering me their time and advice. I told myself that I would always try and pay that forward. But accepting all requests quickly became untenable. Instead I decided to accept more invitations to conferences and fireside chats, where I could reach more people in one go. I’ve had to apply this same discipline internally. I love working with data but I gave up my database access two years ago. It came to the point where I often had to pull in an analyst to bring me up to speed. I realized my time was better spent focusing on things with a broader impact at the company so I had to let one of my favorite tasks go. It was exhausting me personally and holding me back as a leader.
Learn to recharge in down moments
As a CEO of a growing company my workload waxes and wanes. Things get hectic, but then a specialist comes on to take over a particular area and I get some breathing room back, before I inevitably notice new gaps in our business. Over time, your job will always expand and contract in terms of your areas of focus and responsibility. Take advantage of the quieter moments to go home and spend time with your family and breathe out a little. There will always be more long weeks around the corner.
When you’re not the expert, trust your instincts
Once you rise up into management, you need to be able to jump in and out of a wide array of tasks. I used to be overly meticulous, digging deep and trying to become a subject matter expert in everything. Now, I understand better that I don’t have the time for that level of effort. I have to trust the people around me. My job becomes making sure that everything passes the sniff test. I need to be able to ask the right questions and address key concerns. I’ve learned to move on if something is under control or know when it isn’t and I need to make a struggling project my focus.
Everything can be delegated (except mission and vision)
It’s not only that it isn’t sustainable for you to do everything as CEO, it’s also worse for the company. Even someone that you think is only 80 percent as good as you at a particular task will always be better if it is their sole priority. You need to surround yourself with specialists who are more qualified at a particular task than you could ever be. It frees you to focus on company mission and vision–the parts of running a company that will always be your responsibility–and puts your company in a place to take flight properly.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How heavy workloads can lead to decreased productivity
- Three reasons why people feel stressed at work
- How work management can prevent workload stress
Having too much to do with too little time has become a modern workforce mantra. Even after putting in extra hours off the clock, you likely still feel the stress of a heavy workload. Given incessant emails, disorganized (or nonexistent) workflows, and unnecessary meeting invites, it’s no wonder productivity has flattened.
Despite advances in technology—and their promises to make our lives easier—the sense of control over how we spend our work day is diminishing. And with communication becoming less impactful and efficient, figuring out how to manage our workloads is top of mind for most team leaders.
So, is workload balancing actually possible? It is, and it starts with a shift in perspective to generate results. But before we talk about fixes, let’s take a look at how we got here.
3 reasons people feel workload stress
Employees want to feel productive at work. That’s why completing tasks and achieving goals are vital to an engaged workforce. Knowledge workers also thrive on being an integral part of their company and understanding how they contribute to larger, strategic goals.
But with siloed projects—and communication overload—most lack clarity on where they fit in the organization and whether their work is valuable. Without effective collaboration and workload management, more time is being spent doing less meaningful work, like responding to emails and sitting in meetings.
And when you’re not doing engaging work, burnout can approach quickly. In Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index, 80% of people surveyed said they felt overworked and close to burnout. When that happens, people simply disengage at work. What they feel instead is the stress of a huge workload.
Here are three reasons for why that’s the case:
1. Too much time is spent on work about work
According to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index, work about work is a trend that’s hurting the productivity of knowledge workers. People are spending significant time in unnecessary meetings, responding to emails and messages, and looking for files. Efforts are frequently duplicated. Unless companies commit to changing the way they work by addressing the cause of constant notifications, meetings, and messages, work about work is here to stay.
While knowledge workers believe they’re spending about 35% of their day on work about work, the actual number is nearly double that: 60% of an employee’s workday is spent doing work that doesn’t involve the skill for which they were hired. Unless teams take proactive steps to eliminate or reduce work about work, productivity will continue to decline and workload stress will increase.
2. Communication overload
Even the most well-intended messages fall short when you’re trying to communicate over email and messaging tools about what needs to get done, who is responsible, and when work is due. Both platforms require a significant amount of back and forth, wasting time, energy, and focus. Plus, with long threads it becomes easy to lose track of details or forget to include someone important.
Welcome to communication overload—a product of work about work that gets in the way of concentration and, ultimately, our productivity. Messaging and email notifications have a sneaky way of pulling our attention away from important work. As soon as we hear a ping or see a new email pop up, we feel a responsibility to reply immediately. Our focus breaks and we go into multi-tasking mode. The work you were just doing is officially interrupted with work about work.
Another unfortunate effect of too much communication (cue those pings again) is having to succumb to an “always on” culture. Knowledge workers feel pressure to be available 24/7 and spend their time away from the office responding to messages, which creates even more work and more stress.
3. The never-ending search for information
Every time a task moves from one person to another, whether through email, messaging apps, or a spreadsheet, information becomes fragmented and buried. Additional time and effort are required when an overall picture of a project needs to be painted and information is sitting in multiple places. Frequent meetings to discuss the status of work also become inevitable—and another time-sucker.
The information-gathering process is nothing short of inefficient. For example, people waste time while trying to figure out who is in charge of what. There’s confusion about what needs to be approved, whether it’s already been approved, who is responsible for approving, and who manages the approval process. And if that causes confusion, imagine trying to figure out who to reach out to and where to locate important information to get work done.
Unfortunately, conversations end up getting lost, repeated, and fractured with no real system to keep track of everything. As Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index points out, people spend the majority of their time at work without clarity on organizational priorities. And it isn’t just the day-to-day tasks that are unclear. 54% of knowledge workers aren’t clear on how their work contributes to the overall company.
Tackling heavy workloads with work management
Rather than stress out about a heavy workload, there are ways to change gears and make work more efficient. That happens by creating organized processes, automating work, and communicating effectively, which requires a different type of thinking. Everyone in an organization, from leaders and managers to individual team members, needs clarity on what work is important and what’s not in order to better balance workloads.
This new way of working is called work management and serves as a practical approach for figuring out who’s doing what by when. Work management provides the clarity that everyone in a team or organization needs to focus on the work that matters most, instead of focusing on time-consuming work about work.
Work management tools like Asana give individuals, teams, and entire companies the clarity to work more efficiently while keeping everyone moving in the same direction and towards the same goals.
It’s time to put a stop to workload stress. Teams no longer have to feel bombarded with huge workloads. Work about work will begin to loosen its reigns when teams make the decision to implement a work management system, automating processes and making workdays more productive.
Maybe you are being particularly ambitious at the office and have asked for as much work as your supervisors can dump on you. Or, perhaps an overburdened “to-do” list has crept up on you, and you are only just now – with rising panic – realizing the hole you have dug yourself into.
Managing a heavy workload is something many professionals deal with at one point or another, and sometimes on a weekly basis. It is essential to approach the heavy workload wisely; not only to ensure you are doing the best job you can, but to avoid burnout. Let’s briefly run through 10 strategies for successfully handling a Goliath-sized workload.
1. Establish a workable system of organization
Plowing heedlessly into that pile of work likely will not get you anywhere. You need a system of organization to guide your efforts. Define a realistic timetable that also jibes with your boss’s expectations, sort the incremental tasks from the large-scale ones, and look ahead to identify potential problems or time-sensitive needs you want to head off at the pass.
2. Use lists to stay focused
If you are not accustomed to making them regularly, checklists may seem a waste of time. Lists, though, can become critical guideposts or lifelines when you are up to your ears in work and are struggling to get your bearings. Use them to winnow an intimidating project down to manageable small-scale missions, and consult and adjust them at the start and end of each workday.
3. Choose logical stopping points
Speaking of the end of your workday, make sure to leave off at a logical point. Wrap up loose ends and know the gameplan for tomorrow (or Monday) morning. This keeps your efforts streamlined and wards against procrastination.
4. Stick to a schedule
Once you’ve established a time frame for your work, try to stick with it as best you can. That does not mean you can’t tweak it to reflect reality, but try to respect it: Willy-nilly changing your schedule, especially because of momentary distractions or doubts, can set you way off course in the long run.
5. Avoid accepting more work than you can handle
It is all too easy to say “yes” to every assignment a supervisor or coworker brings your way. Know your limits and stick to them. Even if you have to pass up a promising project, you are improving your position in the long run by maintaining a high quality of work (and, not incidentally, taking care of yourself).
6. Restrict correspondence to discrete periods
Do not sabotage your workday by falling down the rabbit-hole of emailing. As part of establishing and adhering to a schedule, devote a consistent (and modest) portion of the day to handling correspondence.
7. Focus on one task at a time
Though we seem to live in the age that values multitasking above all else, research suggests human beings are not particularly good at it. Instead of dissipating your energy and effectiveness across three or four different daily projects, focus on one task at a time. You will do better work and make greater progress.
8. Slow your pace
Connected to the preceding point, slowing your work pace can, surprisingly, improve your performance. As with multitasking, it is tempting to motor through the day’s duties, but adopting a more temperate rate allows you to more powerfully focus your energies.
9. Give yourself time off
Do not fill every waking hour with work. That is a trap that can degrade the caliber of your final product and, more importantly, destroy your qualify of life. Regular breaks, including mental breaks where you do not think about the office at all, are actually essential to getting the job done.
10. Ask for help
Do not be too proud or scared to ask for assistance. Your higher-ups will be much happier that you are seeking help in order to most effectively complete your tasks rather than going it alone and thereby falling behind or delivering an inferior product.
Learning how to manage an enormous workload takes practice, but it is a skill that will serve you throughout your professional career.
Whether you fill a demanding role, you’ve taken on a number of important projects or perhaps are even experiencing pressures outside of work, you will probably experience a heavy workload at some point in your career. Handling a heavy workload well can help you succeed in your career. Knowing how to manage a heavy workload can also help you mitigate stress and even find enjoyment in your workday. In this article we discuss how to identify a heavy workload and how to manage it, with tips and strategies to help you succeed.
How do you know your workload might be too heavy?
Knowing when and how you might be experiencing a heavy workload can be an important part of seeking balance and effectively reaching your career goals. The definition of a heavy workload is highly subjective, so the best thing you can do is probably to reflect on your own abilities and preferences at work and gauge your workload accordingly. Consider whether your responsibilities are short or long-term, or a combination of both, and how those responsibilities might affect other priorities in your life and your personal well-being.
How to manage a heavy workload
Managing a heavy workload can help you succeed in your career and support your personal well-being. Here are some steps you can use to manage a heavy workload:
1. Assess your situation
Understanding your workload is usually the first step toward alleviating stress. Reflect on the circumstances that contribute to the feeling that you have a heavy workload. Identify specific details such as projects and tasks that are part of your heavy workload because this will make it easier to generate and implement specific solutions.
2. Determine your priorities
Next, consider your own priorities and perspectives in the context of your workload. Consider the duration you expect the heavy workload to last, and your willingness and ability to manage the workload for that amount of time. Think about professional priorities such as preferred projects as well as personal priorities like family and health.
3. Brainstorm ideas
When you have a clear understanding of the workload and your own priorities, brainstorm ideas for managing the workload. Try writing your ideas down as you think of them or using a note taking app to keep track of your thoughts. Consider asking a trusted friend or mentor to brainstorm with you, because sometimes an outside perspective can help identify new solutions.
Here are some tips and strategies for managing a heavy workload to help get you started:
Know your own abilities
Understanding your own abilities and limitations can help you manage a heavy workload by providing a framework for how much and what kinds of work to take on. Try engaging in self-reflection exercises and pausing periodically to evaluate your current workload and how it affects you.
Knowing how to prioritize work can help you manage a heavy workload by breaking your responsibilities into manageable steps. Practice deciding which tasks are most important or urgent by using a tool such as the Eisenhower matrix. Try to eliminate tasks that can be eliminated and organize the rest based on value or benefit.
Develop an organizational strategy
Staying organized can help you handle a heavy workload by streamlining the process of finding information and making decisions. If you work in a physical workspace, consider taking a moment to arrange the items in your space so that you can access the things you need quickly. If you work in an office setting or online, try taking measures such as organizing your filing system or implementing a planner system to show you your workload at a glance.
Take a break
Rest when needed, if possible, to help maintain your productivity and effectiveness as well as your personal well-being. Sometimes, taking a break and then returning to your work can make your efforts more effective when you return—more so, even, than if you continued working through feelings of overwhelm or burnout. Consider what the most effective rest might mean for you and try to prioritize those activities or lack thereof when you take time away from work.
Teamwork can be another great way to manage a heavy workload. Determine the most effective ways to collaborate with your teammates and implement workflows that allow each member to work to their potential while supporting personal well-being. If you are a leader or supervisor in your organization, consider delegating tasks to other individuals if and when it is possible to reduce your own workload while maximizing your team’s overall efficiency.
A heavy workload might sometimes be the result of a miscommunication among team members or leadership. For example, a supervisor might not know that a team member has received a greater number of assignments than is reasonable for them. Communicate professionally and courteously to help prevent and manage a heavy workload.
Focus on a single task
Working on one task at a time can be more effective than multitasking because it can allow you to accomplish a greater quantity and quality of work in a sitting. Multitasking is usually a matter of switching between tasks rapidly, rather than completing them simultaneously, and this can impede progress toward a goal. Try setting a timer and working on a given task for a specific amount of time before switching.
Managing an effective schedule can help you handle a heavy workload by allocating certain times to accomplish specific tasks. Knowing when you are likely to complete certain tasks most effectively can help you determine a work schedule that supports productivity and enjoyment of your work. For example, if you do your most creative work in the mornings, you might try to complete independent work at that time and then schedule meetings for the afternoon.
4. Implement solutions
Review your brainstorm list of ideas and evaluate them for practicality and effectiveness. It is possible that many solutions might fit your situation, or a combination of strategies. Consider using a list of pros and cons if you need to decide between multiple strategies. Remember that if a particular strategy could use modification or adjustment, you can probably make changes to your workload management plan whenever you need to.
We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.
You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.
That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.
1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All
Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.
We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.
To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.
At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.
The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.
2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.
The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.
In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.
It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.
It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.
3. Take Time Out
To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.
If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.
Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.
In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.
4. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.
Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.
Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.
If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.
5. Stop Multitasking
Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.
So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.
When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.
If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.
6. Work in Blocks of Time
To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.
I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.
Work for a sustained period of 50 minutes.
Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.
Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.
Then take another 10-minute break.
Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.
By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.