Learn to manage your workload more efficiently
‘New Year, New Me’ is all well and good when you talk about working harder but sometimes you need to manage your own expectations. Whether you’re working a full time job, part time job or still in school, there’s always a chance of burning out if you don’t work efficiently with the energy you have. Taking time to slow down and plan ahead as well as taking regular breaks is important. Self care will allow you to continue working at your best a lot longer than pushing yourself to fit 15 hours of work into 8.
No matter how good you think you are at multi-tasking, it’s most likely reducing your productivity. Constantly flicking between tasks lowers your focus and attention. You will also feel busier because you’re brain is overworking itself trying to focus. This will then cause you stress and worry at work. The best thing to do is to stick to one task at a time and focus all your brain power into this. This way, your completed tasks will be done faster and to a higher standard of quality too!
Slow it Down
When you’ve got a million things to do, I know my first thought is to rush to do them ASAP. But sometimes this can mean you’re doing unnecessary work or you could be make accidental mistakes. Making time to prioritise what really needs to be done right away can be an important step to your day. Nothing is worse than spending half a day on a presentation, and then two weeks later when it’s due you have to change every slide.
It’s also okay to leave some tasks in an in progress state. If you can’t complete a task because you need X, Y or Z from other team members then leave it and start the next task. Go back to the task after you’ve got everything you need so you can completely it thoroughly.
Remember: Everything Takes Longer Than Expected
When you’re planning your day, don’t meticulously plan every second. This is just going to stress you out because everything takes longer than expected. You’ll start trying to rush tasks to get them done to your set deadline, and like I said in the previous point, this will negatively impact your standard of work. When you’re planning your day, always leave a buffer somewhere so you have that extra time you need.
Learn to Say No
As a self-confessed yes man, I struggle with this one the most. It’s not always possible to take on every task in a day. And if you continue to say yes to every task you’ll start to burnout as you run out of time in the day. Learning to say no, or to prioritise tasks which can be done today, and which tasks can be done in the next few days is important. Saying no won’t make you look like you’re slacking either, as most colleagues will understand you’re working on many different things.
Take a Break
Sometimes you need to rest or your productivity is going to suffer. Make sure you take 5 minutes to grab a coffee, take that lunch break and turn off from work when you go home! Of course, sometimes you need to work late, but ensure you’re getting time off. Watch a film, read a book, just do something that isn’t solely focused on work at least once a day.