Monday, 5 August 2013

3 Simple Ways to Handle an Overwhelming Workload

Staying busy is great, isn’t it? Busy means money is coming in, which means job security for us all! There is never a dull moment here at Swagger. Not one. In fact, every single dull moment has been replaced by moments so incredibly crazy that sometimes you are completely paralyzed in all the business that surrounds you and all you want to do is crawl in a hole and WAIT FOR ALL OF YOUR BUSY PROBLEMS TO DISAPPEAR.

Right? Or is that just me?

Sometimes, having multiple tasks and close deadlines peeking around every corner can get a little stressful. That’s why I created a little checklist of the three simplest and effective things to do when things get a little too…busy… and hopefully they’ll help you out, too.

1. Take Care of the Most Urgent Task First
I don’t know about you, but when I have due tasks piling up, I go into a ‘flight’ mode, enter La-La Land and pretend that nothing is urgent, and instead begin working on the least important things (i.e. an article to write that’s not due for another month when I’ve got a task that’s been staring me down for a week and was due, oh, yesterday).  This is bad! Procrastination will only make things worse, and we all know this, so just stop whatever low priority silliness you are working on that can wait, and get the urgent task done first.  And no multi-tasking, either. Don’t do anything else but the task in front of you.  No phone calls, emails or other distractions.  Just get that urgent task DONE.

2. Make a List
I think we have all been told this at one time or another, but it is so important that I’m going to say it again: MAKE A LIST. It will make your life so much easier. A list gives you the ability to see everything that you need to get done today, or this week, or whenever. You can cross everything off as you go. It’s great! It’s just dandy! So don’t skimp on this one. Write it down. ;)

3. Take a Breather
‘Wait, what? I’ve got a huge deadline to meet in 3 hours and I’m only halfway finished with THAT LIST I AM SUPPOSED TO WRITE and you’re telling me to TAKE A BREATHER?!?!’
I know it seems a bit counterintuitive to take a break when time is of the essence, but you’ve got to disconnect from your work for a moment, breathe, calm down, and clear your mind. Once you do this, you’ll realize that things really aren't so bad, and it’ll be easier to think about the present moment. If you keep on thinking about the future and thinking about what’s next on your plate and thinking, thinking, THINKING, you’re not going to do so well. By walking away from everything for just a few minutes, putting everything into perspective in your mind, and bringing your senses back to the present moment, you’ll realize that you feel a little better about your current circumstances and can come back to work with a clear(ish) mind and be back and ready to get things done.

There ya go! Just 3 simple steps and all of your crazy busy deadlines will go away for good! Well, not exactly. But this little checklist has saved me from quite a few mental breakdowns, and hopefully it will save you from them, too.  Consider it a simple guide on getting a little more clarity, a little more concentration, and a little less crazy so you can accomplish what you need to accomplish. And if all else fails, just remember those 5 easy words:

How have you found ways to maintain your sanity when things get hectic? Share your best tips with us!

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