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Feeling Overwhelmed At Work? Try These 5 Ways to Reclaim Control

Do you feel there’s just too much work and not enough time on your hands? Do you ever feel stressed about things being out of your control? Has your job started to feel like a never-ending nightmare? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all felt overwhelmed with work at some point or another. The work environment has become demanding and it’s easy to end up feeling stressed, confused and burnt out. Begin by accepting the fact that you’re overwhelmed and investigate the reasons why you’re feeling overwhelmed. Some of the most common reasons for feeling overwhelmed are not having enough resources to complete the tasks, fear of bad outcomes or uncertainty, trying to please too many people, problems in personal life and self-doubt. In this post, we tell you how to reclaim your peace of mind and put the control of your day back in your hands.

Create Checklists

We spend more energy on worrying about the tasks than actually doing them. You can feel overwhelmed when you have a lot of to-dos on your mind. Think about all the things you have to do and you would do if you had unlimited time. Then start listing down all the tasks that come to your mind in a checklist.  You can use free software available online to list down your to-dos like OmniOutliner, Any.do, etc. Once you have the checklist, use the Eisenhower matrix to organize the tasks into 4 categories.

Once you have organized your tasks, create to-do lists and break down the complex task into smaller, detailed tasks. Start by working on the easier and less time-consuming tasks first. This will reduce your workload and you will feel closer to achieving your task.  Categorizing your tasks can help you in eliminating time-consuming activities which take up your energy and time.

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Finish Things That You Left Halfway Done

Surely, we’ve all done it: start working on something and leave it unfinished. When you leave urgent or important tasks halfway, you tend to build up anxiety which quickly grows worse. When you feel overwhelmed, pick up tasks that you left half-way and see them to completion. If you’re stuck in the habit of leaving tasks unfinished then you need to take actions to change your habit. Here’s a 3-step action plan to avoid getting stuck:

  • Awareness: The first step is to recognize the problem and find the pattern. Next, write down why and when you started the activity, and why you stopped working on this particular activity. Determine what were the key reasons to leave the job halfway through.
  • Be realistic with your deadlines: Deadlines are the critical component of any project and major stress sets in when deadlines are not managed well. At the start of each task, set realistic guidelines for yourself. While you’re working on the task, be proactive and recognize if your task needs more time than expected and then adjust your deadline accordingly.
  • Motivation: When you organize the tasks into the Eisenhower matrix, you understand if the task is important or urgent for the business and why it needs to be done. Ensure you understand the impact of your work and are motivated to do the job because it makes a difference, and not just for the sake of doing it.

Prioritize Things That Need to Be Finished Today

One of the biggest challenges that professionals face us accurately prioritizing work that matters on a daily basis. In order to prioritize, follow this plan:

  • List down your daily tasks: Pull down all the tasks together that need to be completed on that specific day. You don’t have to worry about the order. You can simply list down everything first without any order. Once your list is complete, break down the tasks into smaller sub-tasks and daily goals.
  • Task assessment: Assess the value and order the tasks by the estimated amount of effort required for them. Start with the task which you think will take the most effort to complete, because you’re fresh and energetic in the morning. If you leave this for the end of the day, then you will end up spending more time worrying about it.
  • Eliminate: It’s okay if you can’t cut down everything on your list. After you prioritize, eliminate tasks that are not urgent or important. To ensure you follow-through your priorities, find out the most important and time-consuming task and start your day with the motto of “I will not start anything else until #1 is finished.” This will increase your motivation and help you achieve your goals.

As you go through the prioritization exercise, it’s important to stay flexible. As humans, we are compelled to continue doing something just because we’ve already put time and efforts into it. Don’t make this mistake of continuing to do something which is not important anymore just because you’ve spent time on the task in the past.

Use the Power of Your Online Calendar

Online scheduling is the art of planning activities which can help you achieve your goals more efficiently in your available time. Scheduling helps you have a clear view of how you can achieve your goals on time. Plus, it also ensures you have enough time for other essential tasks and for your personal life. When done right, scheduling can help you in prioritizing and avoiding taking more tasks than you can handle. You can use a lifetime free appointment scheduling software to improve your time management skills. Here’s how you can use your online scheduling software to achieve better productivity:

  • Set time availability: On your online schedule, set your available time when you can schedule your work. Manage your day better with scheduled breaks and add your holidays and planned leaves to avoid taking too much work before your holidays. Plan out the time you want to spend on each activity and stay ahead with automated reminders.
  • Sync multiple calendars: Choose a scheduling software that works with your other calendars so you don’t end up managing multiple calendars and wasting your time. SuperSaaS syncs with your Google calendar, Outlook calendar, etc. so you don’t end up double booking your schedule and later realizing it.
  • Schedule automated reminders: An online scheduling software can help you in setting up automated text or email reminders which constantly keep you informed on your deadlines and ensure that you don’t miss important meetings.
  • Integration: Selecting a scheduling software that syncs with your to-do lists can help you in staying on track. You can automatically add tasks to your to-do list and your online calendar.
  • Place limits on bookings: If you want to spend only 2-3 hours in meetings every day, you can also limit the number of bookings on your schedule so you avoid overloading your schedule with unnecessary time-consuming work.

Integrating an online schedule is even more helpful in your day’s productivity if you attend meetings or are constantly looking for common time to spend with your colleagues on discussing a topic. 

Talk to your peers

When you feel motivated and enthusiastic to complete the task, you tend to complete it faster. When taking up a new course, or trying to inculcate a new habit it’s great to have support and motivation from your peers. Talk to your colleagues and friends and tell them about your new habit. This will drive you more to adopt this habit of learning something new when you’re too exhausted to complete work.

If you’re feeling extremely overwhelmed and exhausted, take a breath. Consider what really matters and what impact your stress can have on your health. Ask yourself if this will matter to you in a week’s time, a month’s time, or in a matter of a year. If yes, then it’s probably worth the time investment. If not, know that your frustration is temporary. Be kind to yourself!

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