We’ve all been there, far too much on our plates and feeling like we’re sinking beneath the vast amount of jobs we need to get done. Things start to pile up and before you know it you’re completely overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
When this happens, take a step back and figure out how to get yourself organised again. Here are some simple steps to handling multiple tasks and getting through busy, stressful periods.
1. Stop Working (Temporarily!) – It doesn’t sound like the right thing to do when you have lots to do, but if you are very busy and running around like a headless chicken you really should take a break and consider what you are doing. Without a plan you won’t get very far or be at your most productive, so stop what you’re doing and think things through properly.
2. Get Organised – Once you have relaxed a bit and taken a breather, grab a pen and a blank piece of paper and start a clean slate, literally. Write down everything you need to get done no matter how small or trivial. The point of this exercise is to help you plan things out, but it is also important to get things written down so they don’t overwhelm you and you don’t have to think about them.
3. Make A Plan – Once you have your list you will be able to put things in order of importance – prioritisation is key if you want to get things done properly. You could also try tackling a few of the easier tasks first, once you get these done you will feel a sense of accomplishment which will motivate you to do more. You also get the joy of ticking completed items off your list!
4. Break Things Down – Some of the easier tasks can be done in one go and taken off the list, but for bigger projects or tasks things are not always as simple. If you have some complicated objectives then the best thing to do is to break them down into small, achievable goals. You might have a work assignment, a college project, an exam – whatever the case may be, break the task into smaller subsections and figure out how much time everything will take.
5. Do A Little Bit Every Day – One of the best ways to stay on top of things is to do a little bit, often. This goes for so many things; fitness, housework, learning a new skill, working towards a deadline etc. Leaving things until the last minute is certainly appealing sometimes, but not a good idea in the long run. Stop yourself from feeling pressured and becoming overwhelmed by anticipating busy periods and working steadily towards them.
6. Keep Things Varied – Variety is the spice of life, if you find yourself becoming tired of one task just set it side and come back to it later. Being mentally refreshed is important, chances are that if you’re not feeling it then you’re probably not doing your best work. Take a break, move on to something else, and come back to it when you are ready. Writer’s block can affect anyone and anything!
When a heavy workload starts to overwhelm you rest assured that you are not alone, we all go through it at times. Remember to keep things in perspective and realise that it is not the end of the world if you miss a deadline or if you have to wait until tomorrow to get things done. Life goes on.