Somehow – even with your schedule all written out – your workload has gotten out of control! You’re managing several deadlines, being bombarded by emails, reviewing requests for new projects, and general communication from all sides. You’ve already committed so you can’t back out now (even though you’ve thought about it once or twice.)
While being busy means steady paychecks, it can also be extremely stressful and exhausting. At some points, you actually debate giving up and screaming (I can’t be the only one.) But then you come back to reality and realize that is not a smart idea.
Here are a few tips that work for me when I’m in serious work overload:
- FOCUS: Do you multi-task to get more done? STOP! Can’t? Me either. But you have to try. Baby steps. Focusing is difficult – it takes time and practice. I’m still working on it myself. Don’t know where to start? Try a few of these focus tips:
- Step away from your desk – without any distractions – for 15 minutes (a little fresh air makes a huge difference.)
- Minimize external distractions: Put your phone on silent AND out of sight, close out your email, and (if you are a person who listens to music when they work) listen to some calming music. You probably don’t even realize how much these things are distracting you when you work. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you become. Once I put away my phone (which had me checking Instagram and Facebook VERY frequently) I was able to finish twice as much work!
- MAKE A PRIORITY LIST: I know this seems overly basic and self-explanatory, but it really is helpful. When I am stressed my mind is being pulled in 1000 different directions. I need to make a list to remember everything. Not just a jumbled list, but one I organize from most important to least important with deadline dates included. BONUS TIP: If seeing actual dates doesn’t kick your butt into gear, write down how many days you have to complete the task. If you see 2 days rather than Aug 26th for example – it’ll reiterate that you need to “GET TO WORK NOW!”
- CREATE SPACE: As a creative, I honestly think I thrive on a messy desk. So I am by no means telling you that you need to begin by organizing your desk. But what I am saying is that you need a designated space where only work takes place. This is especially important for people like myself who work from home. It helps separate work life from home life. Work in an office? A great way to keep motivated is to add a few new things to your desk. Maybe add some framed photos or buy some organizers to add a personal touch. It helps make sitting at your desk a little more exciting (or, as exciting as it can be.)
So, the next time you are in work overload – or if you know you are about to fall into work overload – try out some of these tips! I swear by them!