How do you prioritise work when everything is important? A recent survey revealed that around eight hours every week are wasted at work, with personal tasks and mobile devices cited as the biggest distractions. So how can you get a handle on managing your workload?
We’ll take a look at tried and tested techniques in managing your workload so you can keep the balance. In doing so, we’ll look at how you can manage your time more effectively, why it’s important to plan your working week and how keeping a close eye on your wellbeing is more important than you might think when it comes to managing your workload.
Time management strategies
Arranging and controlling how you spend your time at work is a straightforward concept, right? It might be straight forward for some however, for others, it’s hard to control. This year is a fine example of how we can have all our ducks in a row, content planned, meetings planned, events planned and then the biggest plot twist of them all comes along and our well made plans go up in smoke. Enter stage right – COVID-19.
When time management strategies are embedded, we can revert to what we know and plan again. Start by getting a handle on how you spend your time currently, it may seem counterproductive (and time-consuming) to record how you spend your time – we promise it will pay off in the long run. Review this at the end of your working week and see where your time went. By consciously removing unproductive tasks and looking to automate procedures that sap your time, you’ll soon start having more time to focus on the big rocks in your working week.
Unnecessarily long meetings are an area that Life Hacks has identified as a time-waster. Try standing up for meetings, or in this new world of online meetings set a time limit before it starts, this way you won’t be tempted to let the meeting go on for longer than is necessary. Removing desktop email notifications can also help you keep focused on the task at hand and if your question is a quick one, consider picking up the phone to speak to a colleague rather than firing off an email.
Get to know yourself
Getting to know when you’re most productive in your working day and scheduling tasks that need full concentration for that time will help you stay focused and conquer the to-do list. If you’re a morning person, aim to deal with the big rocks first thing in the morning before getting bogged down in your email inbox, or maybe you’re a night owl, in which case save up the tasks that require a lot of brainpower until later in the day.
The benefits of planning your work to manage your workload
Planning your work provides a solid guide for action, it ensures deadlines are met and means you can also plan in time for unexpected work to land on your desk. It might seem odd saying that planning allows for flexibility yet it’s true! Planning and goal setting lets you visualise where you work energies need to be directed when a curveball is thrown your way, you can quickly refer to the plan and assess what task can be moved to make room for another. Another major benefit of planning your work is that planning inadvertently creates goals and in achieving goals we feel more motivated and committed.
How monitoring your wellbeing at work can help manage your workload
Wellbeing at work is something we’re fiercely passionate about, you might have noticed the launch of the Leap Like A Salmon Wellbeing Wheel within our CPD portfolio. We wanted to encourage members to actively focus on this area of their lives as it has such a huge impact on our careers and ongoing professional development. So how can managing your workload positively impact your wellbeing?
It’s all about control. If you feel in control of your time, you know when you’re most productive and your plan means you’re ready for any curveballs that might come your way, your wellbeing is likely to benefit. Furthermore, making sure there is time for learning and development in your working week will help give you a sense of control and progress.
“Wellbeing should be integral to your professional development and our wellbeing wheel will help you visualise areas that need more focus both personally and professionally.”Lauren, Wellbeing expert at Leap Like a Salmon
Make the commitment today to give the task that you are engaged in your complete attention for its duration. When it’s time to swap tasks, make the swap fully; don’t leave half of yourself behind. Remember, the thrill of watching a juggler in action is waiting to see if he will drop the ball. Don’t let that be you.
So put that mobile phone to one side, turn off those email notifications, establish your work goals and plan your working week. Before you know it, you’ll feel in control and will be amazed by how much time you can get back. This time could even be spent completing the wellbeing wheel to keep on top of your ongoing professional development.
Thanks for reading, please do share this blog if you’ve enjoyed reading it and let us know how you manage your workload. Should you have anything you want to ask us, please do get in touch here.