Help me be more organised(11 Posts)
I'm back at work but only doing 4 days a week. I have a bigger workload and one less say to do it in. Am really struggling. I'm usually pretty organised but I keep missing things and my stress levels are through the roof. Can anyone suggest anything that might help? DP is going mad because I'm doing extra hours unpaid but I don't feel like I have a choice. I think I need some strategies to help. I've already deleted my work emails from my phone to stop me working on days off as I was finding myself making phone calls and sending emails.
Make your time off exactly that. Time off. If you can :-) I work 4 days and I check emails etc the night before I go back to work so I know what's going on. I receive 80% of my salary because I work 80% of the time. That means the 20% I'm not working is for me and my family to do what suits us.
Are you being passes extra stuff? Can you start saying 'my workload is full at the moment so the earliest I can start this is next week' so expectations are managed but they may decide better to do themselves? Delegate anything? Meet with manager and discuss workload as they don't seem to have taken on board the fact that you're now pt. Don't do extra at home they won't appreciate it and may pile more on!
I have had conversations with my line manager so she is aware I am overloaded. Everyone is at the moment so not getting anywhere. It looked like my workload was going to decrease due to a transfer of a contract but it now looks like that isn't happening anymore. I'm really frustrated as I know my work isn't up to scratch but I really can't cope with the load on me at the moment. I am usually so organised so I'm finding it really hard.
There isn't really anyone to delegate to and it's not so much being handed 'extra' work. It's not the type of job where you have regular deadlines. A lot of what we do is reactive.
Have you tried the warren Buffett 25/5 approach. Make a list of 25 task you need to complete. Then choose the most important 5. Until you have completed those 5 tasks the other 20 aren't just unimportant they DONT EVEN EXIST to you. When the first 5 tasks are done, move on to the next 5. This might help focus the mind a bit?
I like that idea. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. Although it may not work entirely for my job as urgent tasks tend to appear which throw priorities.
Not sure what job you do but how about establishing some routines?
I'm a PA so get all sorts of random crap thrown at me. One of the ways I reduce stress is by anticipating stuff by doing things on a regular basis. So.... order stationery once a week, decide when to chase people I am waiting on answers for (every 2 days is good), etc...
Could I suggest just focusing on ONE thing at a time, not even 5. By all means make a priority list of the top 5 (and 25) that need to be done as suggested above, great advice.
But then do just ONE thing, then move to the next item on the list.
The reason for this is that if we switch between tasks, we lose momentum to get the first task finished.
There's a lot of research behind this, from a coach I learnt from who's trained Olympic athletes for 20 years and now coaches entrepreneurs (including me).
Most people think they are doing more by multi-tasking. But the reality is that every time you switch from one thing to another, you lose a percentage of productivity for every new thing you move to and try to do at the same time.
How often do you find yourself working on a task, but then you realise you have to look something up online, then you see a new message has arrived in your inbox, you open up a new email that looks interesting, then you find your onto a new query and then you're online or on the phone dealing with that new query, then a text message comes in from your Mum asking you to call her tonight etc etc and then you think oh where was I? Then you remember you've got to buy a present for the weekend etc etc. And that original task, you have to begin with all over again. Being really strict about your focus will save you time.
Another tip is that often in our minds we feel overwhelmed because we have a whole bunch of things floating around in our minds that we can't nail down.
Instead, write down against your list of 25 things, how long each thing will take to do.
Usually we over-estimate how much time we'll take to do something.
Once you can see how many minutes and hours you need to do things, you'll start to see overall how long that block of work is going to take.
You could even put each task into your diary online and allocate a time you're going to do each one. Literally allocate minute by minute each task.
Some people find this helps them break it all down and push back the feeling of overwhelm.
The only other thing is perhaps to check your diet and vitamin B12 and iron levels as sometimes it's easy to let diet slip when you're under pressure like that.
B12 is good for memory and energy. Iron too.
All the best, Sarah x
Hutch's tips are great and to follow on from that - block out time for emails and calls - then stick to those times! Don't be tempted to check them in between. If it's urgent - they will call or come over.
I block time to do things through the day even when I with dc or I get nothing done
And if you have a pop up that shows each email subject as it comes in - get rid of it!
In fact try to cut down on emails as much a you can - calls get so much more achieved (with a summary email following up if you need the documented trail)
Some great tips here. Am feeling slightly more positive about next week now!
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