Feeling Behind On Work? Get Back On Track With These Nine Time Management Tips

Time management can be a challenge when you’re faced with work that’s piled up over a period of time. It can be difficult to see a list of tasks and decide which are priority and which can be temporarily moved to one side. This can cause employees to panic or stress about where to start. 

Nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council shared their tips for helping overwhelmed employees get back on track. These entrepreneurs share their top tips for managing time in an overloaded workplace. 

1. Communicate with your boss

Overworked employees need to make time for communication with their managers. It is tempting to minimize how overwhelmed an employee feels or what they are experiencing, or to try and cover up problems that may have occurred, but this only leads to more problems. To get back on track, it is important to have a conversation with their manager about current projects, workload, and expectations. A lot of overwhelm can be traced back towards miscommunication and the assumption everyone is equally important and must be completed as soon as possible. Schedule time to have regular communication with your manager about priorities and current status. – Leila, Be Inspired PR

2. Follow the Rule of Three

If you or your employee feel overwhelmed, the first thing to do is follow the rule three: What three tasks do I need in the next three days to regain control? Do not try to complete them all in one sitting. Instead, spread them out on your calendar and to-do lists so that each task is given your full attention. We are often more overwhelmed by the thought or inaction of doing something than the actual act itself. You can use your lists and take responsibility for the tasks that cause you stress and anxiety. You will feel more confident in your ability to tackle the rest. Ashley Sharp, Dwell in Dignity

3. Ask For Help Prioritizing

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by work. This is not always the case. Ask your team member or support person for help in deciding which items must be completed today, this week, or if they can wait. This will help you to identify areas where you are putting too much pressure on yourself and help you to focus on what you need to do now to remove those stressors. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

4. Your tasks can be viewed as puzzle pieces

It’s so easy to get that overwhelming feeling as work piles up for the day, especially during this past year when everything seemed uncertain and stressful. The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and get your mind clear and focused—then you can get organized. Write down your to-do lists or arrange them visually. Next, put the tasks together. What tasks are related? Is Task A required to be completed before you can move on to Task B or vice versa. Put the puzzle pieces of your day together and, before you know it, you’ll have a full schedule! Then, just get on with it. Once you have your head clear, your day organized and your mind clear, the only thing that will ease that overwhelming feeling is to get on with it. – Codie Sanchez, Contrarian Thinking

5. Take a break

First, I would encourage them to take a break and go get a cup of coffee. Then, they can take some time for themselves. The more overwhelming the task, the more difficult it is to understand what needs to be done. After that, I’d encourage them to prioritize each and every task or project that needs to be completed. You should then sort through them, making sure to note both the importance and the deadlines. They can then plan three to five tasks per week using a calendar. The most important task should be listed first. This might help them realize that they can do more than they originally thought. Knowing what needs to be done when can help them get on track, increase productivity, and relieve a lot of stress. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

6. Use Your High-Productivity Hours to Your Advantage

An overwhelmed employee should first identify the times they are most productive. Next, they need to block out the time that is most important for them to focus on their top-priority tasks. To do so, the employee should eliminate distractions—including calls and emails—and use the time that they are at their mental best to accomplish their most important tasks. Employees will be able to get back on track if they are able to focus on their most difficult projects during their mental peak. – Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

7. Reframe the Tasks at Hand

Reframing unfinished tasks in dominos and then choosing which one to knock down first is a solid strategy to stay on track when faced with fast approaching deadlines. Is there a smaller task that is more manageable and will make everything else easier? It is important to find the fastest way for you to regain control when you are in a time crunch. It is important to find small wins that make larger tasks easier to manage. This builds momentum, which can lead to greater accomplishments. An example of this strategy is tackling the smallest step of a project that’s evoking the most anxiety. Sometimes, all it takes is to start on a daunting project and trigger a flood. – Richard Fong, ABCDreamUSA.com

8. Reach Out To Colleagues

It’s a great place for managers and teammates to reach out to you. Employees often feel overwhelmed when they’ve bitten off more than they can chew—something we’ve all done before! Many employees are anxious about asking for help. They don’t like to be considered failures. They don’t want to be seen as failures. However, the strength and power of the team is always greater then the strength and power of each individual employee. We should encourage workers who are in need to support one another. In your workplace, make it a norm that everyone contributes and helps each other. Share stories of times you have needed the assistance of colleagues to accomplish a task. Employees will feel more comfortable asking for help when their leaders do. – Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

9. 9.

A long to-do list can seem overwhelming. So, make a list of the things you are confident in and complete them quickly. This will give you a sense of accomplishment, and the confidence to tackle larger problems. My experience is that you can reduce overwhelm by creating momentum in completing tasks. Matthew Podolsky Florida Law Advisers P.A.

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