ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM WORK OVERLOAD?

Tips to help you manage increasing demands at the office
By Anne Hardy, MARylene Delbourg-delphis

Work overload is on the rise, with employees feeling short on time and unable to complete an increasing workload at the office.  This common situation causes employees to work extra hours in an effort to catch up, which in turn reduces time spent on their other projects and tasks.  The end result is a vicious cycle of work overload that generates stress, fatigue and burn-out.  So how do we address this cycle? Elizabeth Grace Saunders, author of How to Invest Your Time Like Money suggests that the first step is to go back to a basic time allocation method and develop a time budget.  Use time as efficiently as possible, allocating specific hours each day to priority projects.  This will allow you to manage your day more effectively.  This also provides a nice snapshot of how you spend your workday and the effort required on various projects that can later be used in promotion discussions and alike. 

Other suggestions include:

  • Clarifying the priorities of the business and your job. Understand how your work contributes to overall business goals.  
  • Be flexible and understand that business needs and project priorities may change.
  • On a weekly basis, develop a clear schedule of your work week to stay on track and avoid procrastination. Keep in mind that work overload can be caused by ineffective time management.
  • Delegate tasks when possible, to give other team members an opportunity to contribute to projects as you develop your managerial skills.
  • Be willing to push back and say no when necessary.  When doing so, always include a business justification as to why you cannot take on additional projects as well as offer alternative solutions to get the projects completed.  This will communicate that you have the best interest of the company and your team in mind.

By incorporating these time management techniques into your workday, you will begin to see an increase in productivity and greater efficiency across your workload.  But the benefits are much greater than that - improved reputation, more free time, ability to take on new projects, and reduced stress.