“HELP! I’m buried under here!”

Saturday, November 7, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

(Photo: Tasja)

Do you ever feel like you are getting buried under a ton of bricks, by your work? Like you are unable to breathe and no matter what you do you will never catch up with your workload? Well join the club; the club of millions of people across the globe fortunate enough to be employed in this age of cutbacks and layoffs. Everyone is taking on heavier and heavier loads, bearing more weight for the company. And you’ll do it without a flinch or the bat of the eye, after all look at your alternative – unemployment! You may be only one person but you need to learn to cope and to manage yourself as a more productive and effective employee.

Prioritizing can help!

This is one of those times where you need to spend a little time to save yourself even more time. Start by writing down each item on your to do list. It’s okay if you fill up the whole page, just take the time to get your list written down no matter how big or small. Next, label each item prioritizing it as an A, B or C item.

  • A = Item which is urgent in respect to time. No matter the importance it needs to be done right away.
  • B = Item of importance and somewhat time sensitive, but not with an immediate need.
  • C = Item which is not urgent or does not have a time line.

Once you have each item prioritized, the path is clear. Start with the A items, work through each task, move to the B items, complete each task and eventually move on to the C items completely clearing your list. Well maybe not. You see it is not likely your list will ever be clear and it this economic climate you should be concerned if you don’t have another project in the queue. It is likely you will continually be adding new items to your list which is why you will need to reprioritize as new tasks come in. Each task will vary in importance so be flexible with your priorities allowing new projects to take precedence when need be.

As times passes, items which were lower on the list, often increase in priority. Something which was not important last week could take precedence today; so it is important to review your list daily. As new items keep piling up taking precedence; when will you ever get to those C items? Great question.

A and B items can frequently take much time and concentration, but if you use your time wisely, you will find time to complete all your tasks. First take a good look at those C items determining if they are really something you need to get done or are they non-productive filler items which can be scratched off your list. Next, take a look at your schedule to find bits of time where you will not be able to focus accurately on the important A or B tasks; this could be on the seat of airplane, on the commute into work or while waiting for an appointment; no matter the case, use this time to knock out a few of those C items. It could be a phone call or quick email, either way use this gray time do what you can to complete a few C items.

What if you have multiple high priority items needing completion right away? Take a look at each item determining which item is most important or urgent. If you come across a hard decision it becomes a judgment call. No one knows your job better than you so make the call. If you are not confident in your ability to do this, contact your manager present him with the conflict, provide potential solutions, and then ask for assistance.

When you are feeling buried alive remember to ask yourself what is important, prioritize it and accomplish your goals one by one.

  • Are there other things you can prioritize in your life?
  • What other methods do you use to get yourself out from under the workload?

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  1. Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 2:10 AM
  2. Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 2:24 AM

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