You’re sitting at your desk eyeing the piles of work stacked up. The volume is daunting, and all marked “urgent”. Then another task appears and another. Here, catch this! Productivity grinds to a halt. You have workload paralysis.
When people have too much on their plate they often shut down and avoid work altogether; they may play computer games or watch TV. Not only is this unproductive, but it puts them in a continual cycle of low motivation. They avoid the work that needs to get done, spend half the day playing games thus adding to their workload, increasing the likelihood that they’ll do the same thing the next day and the day after that.
If you’ve ever experienced workload paralysis these suggestions will help you get back on the productive track.
Take small steps. Start with a small task because you know you can get it done. What you’re looking for is the feeling of completion. It’s the best antidote for feeling overwhelmed. A little momentum is better than none.
Pick one item and finish it. Nothing gives a person quite as much momentum as the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing something. Start small, because it’s doable. Maybe it’s an email to a customer or sending out invoices. Necessary tasks are the best ones to start with; it gets the momentum rolling so tackling a bigger task becomes realistic.
Prioritize like crazy. Prioritizing is more important than ever when you’re overwhelmed. A good question to ask yourself if you struggle is “What one thing can I do that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?” If you have the resources, delegate, delegate, delegate.
Make health a Priority. When you’re overworked, it can be tempting to skip sleep, exercise and meditation in favor of getting work done. But your health needs to be your top priority, especially when your workload is heavy. Set a dedicated time for exercise and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
It’s relaxing to play games or watch TV in your leisure time. But if you find yourself doing so when you know you should be concentrating on that ever-growing workload, remember it’s not just you. Everyone feels like that once in a while.
Focus on a small action, complete one thing and use that momentum to keep you going until your workload becomes manageable again.
The road is easier together,