With access to the latest technologies, social media and software, feeling overwhelmed with work shouldn’t be an issue—right? Wrong. Since the dawn of the digital economy, employees and managers feel more overwhelmed than ever before. The use of social media and technology software has made it virtually impossible not to take on more than we can handle. PrideStaff Financial offers some tips to cut back on the workload and ask for help when it’s needed.
Stop taking on duties someone else can do.
Many people spend too much time doing things that other people can and should be doing. Sometimes it’s because you like doing it; a particular task can feel comfortable or familiar, so you don’t let it go. However, it should now be someone else’s job. Or perhaps you don’t trust others to do the work in the same manner or as well as you do it. Sometimes it’s simply a habit you are unaware of. Most of these scenarios have tasks that could be handed off, and doing so will reduce your load.
Take a mental check.
No matter how busy you are with work, if you take a 15-minute timeout and look at your life and work from a distance, it will help you use the rest of your time more effectively. Those precious 15 minutes can feel like a little mini-vacation, and according to research, can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. It also offers you clarity to see your way through a challenging situation, or to see a problem that’s been stumping you from a different perspective.
Open a productive channel of communication.
If you’ve taken a step back and realize you have too much work on your plate, open up lines of communication with your boss. But how you communicate is just as important as the act itself. Frame concerns around quality of work. Tell your boss you fear the quality of your work will suffer because of an overload of projects and responsibilities. Then share how much work you feel you can complete without the quality suffering. Stamp out how many “realistic” projects you can complete in a set time frame, and highlight the importance of wanting to complete the projects the right way—quality is always more important than quantity. Remember, the most important step is the first step.
Set the pace and tone.
When meeting with your boss, don’t approach the meeting complaining about the amount of work. Watch your tone; do not sound despondent, frustrated, or angry. Your boss may also feel overworked and may be less sympathetic because of what they have on their plate. Speak with compassion and focus concerns on the health of the company. Instead of complaining about the amount of work you have to do, present new solutions for getting the work done on time, or who the work might be delegated to. Show you are still a team player. Most bosses respect those who know when to ask for help and how to do it professionally.