My blog this month is about ensuring that you are in control of your work. Letting you know that it's OK to feel overwhelmed, and some suggestions on coping with those feelings.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed at work? Are you one of those people who love your job but are finding that the mountain is getting higher and higher? Then I feel your pain as I’ve been there. There are lots of reasons why someone might feel overwhelmed. It’s always good to take a minute and try and identify what it is that is causing you to feel this way. Once you know what the root cause is, then you can make decisions about how to manage it.
There are many reasons why you might feel so put on, some of the more common ones are:
- Meeting tight deadlines and having more piled on you
- Receiving too few resources to properly handle your responsibilities
- Accepting too many tasks from supervisors or other employees
- Understanding very little about a certain assignment
- Feeling unsure about your work performance and what you can improve on
These are all valid and would definitely make someone feel that they struggle to clear their inbox.
So….. you’ve identified what is causing you to feel overwhelmed, but what can you do to try and minimise that?
Some suggestions are (and this list is by no means exhaustive):
Create a to-do list - Recognising what you need to do, tracking and prioritising your workload by creating a to-do-list would help. There are many ways to do this, from good old fashioned notebook and pen, to making lists on your phone or PC. Outlook has a way of helping you which is quite cathartic to use as you get a lovely ✔ when you complete the task 😊. Personally I think that writing things down helps you remember what you need to do. Make sure that you list your deadline (if there is one) so that you ensure you complete your task well within the required time.
Ask for help when it’s needed - If you feel you've been given a task with little to no guidance on how to complete it, make sure you speak to your Manager/Team leader for help and take notes, this is good as an aide memoir as you work through that task, but also so if you’re asked to complete something similar again, you can refer back to them.
Be honest about your workload - Your supervisors or co-workers may feel comfortable assigning you tasks because they know you're a reliable and dedicated worker. If you feel overwhelmed with the number of tasks you complete, let others know this. Say something like, "I'm sorry. I have several other tasks due soon that I want to focus closely on. Is there any way I could complete it at a later deadline?" This shows your supervisor and team members that you'd like to put more of your focus and energy toward your current projects.
Remember you have a life outside of work! - It’s very important to take time to relax and focus on things that are not work related! Make sure you take that time to do your hobbies, whatever they are, spend time with your family/friends and give your brain a chance to rest. Giving yourself a break helps you re-energise so that when you do return to work, you’re ready to face those to-do-lists and keep on top of your workload.
I hope this helps you have a little control in your day to day work life.