Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you have too much to do and not enough time to do it? You have so many projects to manage and people who need to speak with you. It would also be nice if you actually got home at a decent time and saw your family and friends. Perhaps you even made a resolution to not be so far behind and not feel disorganized and spend less time in the office.
Well then, let?s take a look at some quick and simple changes you can make to feel less overwhelmed and more on top of things.
- Know how you spend your time. I am not implying that you goof off, but do you really know where your time goes? If not, the first you thing you should do is find an accurate and easy way to capture your time so that you can be aware of what is taking up most of your day.
- Spend your time the right way. In other words, are you working according to the REAL priorities, the critical path of ALL the work assigned to you? If so ? skip to #3. If not it is time for you to step back and reassess why you are doing what you are doing. Why is it that at a given time you are not working on the most important priorities? You definitely want to realign your work with what is important. It is not enough to be busy; you should be busy with the RIGHT work at the RIGHT time.
- Don?t be unreasonable. Do you always expect to complete more work than is truly possible? If every day and every week your to-do list keeps rolling over into the next day and then the next week, you are probably expecting too much. There are only 24 hours in a day and you do need to eat and sleep. You need to reconsider your work load. Remove some items from your to-do list. Is everything on your list really adding value? Stop doing work that is unnecessary.
- Delegate or offload the items on your to-do list which are priority items that add value but do NOT need to be completed by you. You have a team for a reason.
- Have a plan. You have a plan and a schedule for your projects, RIGHT? Well you should have one for yourself as well. Do you know what the priorities are for the week, for the month, the quarter, etc? Be sure to track all of your important milestones both personal and professional. Do not let being busy sidetrack your career or family plans.
- Use your plan. Before you complete your day, do you revisit your plans and note any discrepancies? Have you revisited what is on for tomorrow? Don?t be that person who is always running down the hall to a meeting or presentation because she forgot to check her plans last evening.
- Keep ONE calendar. In this day and age it is very easy to sync up your calendars. When you have a calendar for home and a calendar for work and a calendar for your other activities, it is too easy to overbook yourself.
- Take a break. Yes, you read it correctly. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Not as-in call in sick and come back when the coast is clear. But don?t try to work harder and faster and do more things. Take some time to clear your mind. Take a walk around the building. Turn your back on your computer. A little bit of relaxation goes a long way!
Feeling overwhelmed? Take an honest look at how you are managing your time and consider these tips. And please feel free to submit your favorite tips as comments so that we can all learn together!