How To Control The Overwhelming Nature Of Work
posted on Aug 10, 2020 | 433 likes
Do more work for less stress
The work people do in most companies are wired to be hyperconnected to each other, your email, phone, Instant Messaging apps, are all well synced so that you don’t miss any urgent information.
However, a Deloitte report concluded that hyperconnectivity was one of the leading culprits causing workers to feel overwhelmed.
Most of us have felt overwhelmed at work at one point or another.
It might have been caused by something as minor as receiving one too many emails, or it could’ve been triggered by an abrupt change in expectations–like a surprise meeting or a deadline that got moved closer at the last minute.
Feeling overwhelmed can have a negative impact on your performance and productivity. It can throw you into a tailspin where you feel like it’s impossible to plan and execute your tasks.
When you’re overwhelmed, you might also experience decision fatigue, which makes it difficult for you to make even the smallest of decisions.
As you already know, none of this is good for your performance or your mental health.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready for some good news?
You don’t have to spend each day of work fighting feelings of stress and overwhelm. Here are some tips on how you can prevent yourself from being overwhelmed at work.
1. Plan out your day
Good time and project management skills don’t come naturally to everyone. But just because you’re not the most organized person in the office doesn’t mean you can’t use a little planning to help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed at work.
Checklists are great for this. Simply write down a few goals you want to reach over the course of the day, and devote your time to completing the tasks on the list. This can help you avoid becoming sidetracked by other low-priority projects.
2. Stop multitasking
Multitasking is just a fancy word for “doing too many things at once.” It’s also a surefire way to overload your senses and burn yourself out.
While you may feel like you’re powering through your to-do list when you multitask, you may experience “mental downtime” when you shift from one task to another, and you can waste as much as 40% of your productive time from this.
3. Make a Kanban board
For a lot of people, nothing sends you into a state of overwhelm faster than losing track of time. And if you’re working a fast-paced job, it’s easy to do.
You’re so preoccupied with a task that you completely forgot you have an assignment due at the end of the day. Boom! Instantly overwhelmed.
This is where Kanban comes in. Think of Kanban as a beefed-up to-do list for people who need to track their progress throughout the day, week, or even month.
It’s great for managing and tracking a steady stream of assignments to do, and Kanban only takes a few minutes to set up a physical board. All you need is a poster board and a few sticky notes. Here’s how you can do it:
· Draw three columns on your poster board
· Label your columns from left to right: “to do, in progress, and done”
· Write the names of the tasks you have to do on sticky notes, then stick each note in the column named “to do.” Note: every sticky note should have only one assignment written on it
· As you start an assignment, move the sticky note for that assignment from “to do” to the column named “in progress”
· When you complete an assignment, move that sticky note from “in progress” to the “done” column
This will help make it easier to manage your to-do list.
4. Ask for help
If you’re trying everything it takes to mitigate overwhelming experiences at work and you’re still getting overwhelmed, ask your supervisor for help. According to research, 65% of executives found overwhelmed employees to be an urgent problem.
From this, we can surmise that most supervisors understand the effects that being overwhelmed can have on your job performance and your health–and chances are they’ll work with you to help you feel more comfortable in the workplace. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
5. Take a break
Brianne Kimmel, Founder of VC firm Work Life Ventures, says that sometimes the best way to break from feelings of overwhelm is to push pause on work completely and mentally reset.
“When I’m overwhelmed at work, I like to schedule what I call an ‘outbox’ day. During these, I check in with old colleagues, cold email someone outside my immediate network, and focus on generally being proactive vs. reactive,” she said.
With a fresh mental slate, you can dive back into a prioritized to-do list and knock things out more easily.
We live in a fast-paced world where we’re constantly bombarded with messages, reminders, and other notifications.
If you’re already feeling the pressure from your workload, constant updates from your smartphone and work computer can push you over the edge, sending you into a state of major overwhelm.
Good news is that with the 5 steps discussed above, you can put the situation under control and do meaningful work.