We all know the feeling when we are overwhelmed with work. Do you feel like there is more work than time? It is necessary that we develop strategies to ensure that our emotional and physical wellbeing is not affected by increased levels of stress.
But there are a few ways you can manage your workload more effectively and reduce your stress levels.
Acknowledge your limits. You need to be able to admit that you can’t do it all. This is the first step in trying to manage your workload stress. Once you acknowledge that you are overwhelmed, you can take control of the situation. But, you must recognise your limits before you look to alleviate your workload stress.
Once you have established you have too much work for the time available, you need to pick and prioritise what you can realistically achieve. You need to choose the tasks that need your attention most, and accept the fact that the rest will be addressed later.
This is where you have to make a decision. You have to decide which tasks need to get done and which you can delay.
A trap that most students (and most people in general) fall into, is choosing the easiest or quickest tasks first. It may feel satisfying to complete these tasks and cross them off your to-do list, but doing these fast and easy tasks may not be the best use of your time.
You need to prioritise.
One easy way to prioritise is to divide your work into four categories:
- Important & urgent
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Not important and not urgent
Once you have categorised your tasks accordingly, concentrate on tasks in Quadrant 1, before moving on to tasks in Quadrant 2 and 3. Quadrant 4 tasks should only be attempted if ALL other tasks have been completed. You’ll find that you have so much more time to actually get the important stuff done!
One thing at a time 1️⃣
Try not to be tempted in switching between tasks. Multi-tasking generally doesn’t work. Even if you have several tasks in Quadrant 1, try to work out an order to complete all the tasks, without having to resort to doing two tasks at once. Do the most important task first, and only move on to the next task when you’ve finished.
Stayed Focused 👀
Focus is key in getting things done quickly. It’s pivotal that you don’t lose track when doing your work. Try allocating time to check your phone, messages and emails. Turn off notifications. That way you won’t be distracted every time your phone buzzes.
Look after yourself 😌
It may sound counterproductive, but taking regular breaks throughout the day helps get through a heavy workload. Working without breaks means that your productivity, performance and motivation will drop. Giving yourself a short break can help keep you refreshed, focused and energised!
Stress is real. But if you look after yourself, get yourself organised and seek support from family and friends, you can tackle workload stress! 💪