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I'm drowning - advice on managing workload

(10 Posts)
becstargazeypie Thu 15-Nov-12 11:52:07

Anyone got any good tips on managing workload? I've currently got a backlog of 3,600 emails waiting for my attention (all received within past few weeks), a boss who seems to think I'm his PA (I'm a Head of Dept, he's the MD) and keeps giving me time-consuming data entry tasks to do, one department assistant who has made it clear he's leaving soon and can't be relied on to do what I ask him to do without so much chasing that it would be infinitely quicker to do it myself. Any tips on clearing the backlog and on how not to be the company dogsbody??

SHRIIIEEEKPoolingBearBlood Thu 15-Nov-12 11:58:26


pinkteddy Thu 15-Nov-12 12:09:35

Use the time management matrix from stephen covey's seven habits of highly effective people. ie : urgent/important, urgent/non important, not urgent/important, not urgent/non important. Prioritise the urgent/important.

Do you know what is your priority? If not ask your boss and focus on those things.

Diary times to do emails and don't be distracted by them all day.

some useful info here

becstargazeypie Thu 15-Nov-12 12:28:41

Thank you both! Thanks especially for the link pinkteddy. I think I'm going to start with doing a timelog for a week.

I know exactly what my priorities are, but my boss keeps giving me things to do which are definitely NOT my priority. Perhaps if I do a timelog and show him exactly how much time I'm spending on the tasks he's asking me to do and how little I have left to spend on doing things which are my department's priority that might help me to 'push back'. He is the problem to be honest, and I can't change him I just need to manage him better... I've had twenty five e-mails from him already today all suggesting different excel spreadsheets that I could create. I'm only working from home today so that I could escape him and try to get some actual work done. Sigh.

pinkteddy Thu 15-Nov-12 14:09:48

Yes good idea about managing your boss! The Stephen Covey book is a worthwhile investment if you haven't seen a copy before - the information on the website link I gave you is all borrowed from his book. Good luck.

ooer Thu 15-Nov-12 22:09:10

In similar situations, I remind my boss of all the other urgent/ important things I have to do and that they will slip if I do this other task today/ this week. Don't be shy - your time is a valuable resource.

GrendelsMum Fri 16-Nov-12 10:32:55

In a similar situation, I used to send back a wildly enthusiastic email to my boss saying something like 'Spreadsheet sounds great! I'm working on projects X, Y and Z at the moment, so won't be able to do it myself.' Usually worked. Alternatively, I would say, 'X sounds great! I'm working on projects X, Y and Z, so which one do you want me to postpone to do this?'

becstargazeypie Fri 16-Nov-12 13:31:20

Ooh, those are good lines GrendelsMum, I'll be stealing those...

ratflavouredjelly Tue 20-Nov-12 23:53:44

Fab advice here from pinkteddy on time management. Thanks!

emess Wed 21-Nov-12 22:45:05

Crikey that's a lot of emails! I've recently started applying the IIDDIIWGD test: if I don't do it, it won't get done, after I have discovered that everything in my inbox is both urgent and important. But not as many as yours - respect!! For tools to help keep track of where the day goes I use tools developed by David Seah in his 'printable CEO' series, based on David Allen's 'getting Things Done'. Let us know how you get on.

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