Its been a while because my day job has been crazy but I thought I would share some quick tips that I have learned from successful colleagues on managing work overload!
First of all you’d think the key to work overload is to get better organized, and manage your time. I am super organized and it does help – but only to a degree.
So experts say talk to your boss and ask them to help. But talking to your boss rarely works – as the reason you are overloaded is they aren’t managing your workload to start with and likely unable to manage their own. In many cases your workload comes from them anyway!
So the conversation when I have it, usually ends up with me having MORE to do. Whether its another priority they forgot about, or they want me to sit down and create a big list of what I am working on so they can help prioritize it. They forget that if it was that easy I would have done it myself! But you spend a few hours putting the list together anyway. Then you pore through the list with them at a second meeting you don’t have time for. If you are lucky, and by pressuring them to decide, you can get them to prioritize for you – if you are lucky- as many managers can’t handle that – to them everything is important and urgent!! But then a day later along comes another project (from them!) and you are back to having the conversation again. Total waste of time you don’t have.
So Tip 1 is – if nobody is asking for the work, and it doesn’t matter how important it is to the company, put it on the back burner till someone asks. Only the high exposure projects matter.
Tip 2 – NEVER take on anyone else work. Doesn’t matter if they are sick/off/ overloaded. Once you take it once you will be stuck with it forever.
Tip 3 – Book time off in your calendar every day to get work done. Otherwise you will get stuck on back to back meetings and never get work done. Too many meeting requests? I will address that in a later tip!