If you’re like me you’re a hard worker whose goal each day is to leave the office feeling accomplished. But how often is that goal met?
“Less often than I’d like,” you might say.
The reality is some days are easier than others, and if you do feel accomplished because you do accomplish a lot, you’re likely rewarded with more work. The recognition is wonderful but the added responsibilities can be overwhelming and stressful if they aren’t properly addressed and managed.
If you’re feeling even a tad bit overwhelmed or adrift during your work week(ends), try incorporating one or more of these tips into your routine.
- Take a step back and assess your to-do’s. Chances are your workload is manageable and it’s your task list that needs attention. Does it exist? By categorizing and prioritizing, you’ll regain control of your time and give your brain a break from unnecessary stress.
- Leave work on time. In high school my business studies teacher told us that our future selves would be able to “afford anything after (we) decide what matters and budget.” Work will always be there waiting for you when you return the next day. Decide what time you’ll leave the office, budget and commit. Your future self will thank you!
- If you’re a manager, lead. Manage tasks, lead people. Maybe you need a report prepared and know that your associate is inadequately skilled to tackle the task alone. Instead of preparing it yourself, make fulfilling the order an opportunity for you and your employee to grow together. Without micro-managing, be the teacher and allow him/her to show what they’re made of. By doing so you’ll yield extra time in the future for potentially more important work. Teach a man to fish …
- Meet with your team daily. Daily status calls keep your team members on task and give them a chance to ask questions in an open forum. You’ll also be promoting an open-door policy, a key to running a successful department or business. 15 minutes can be more than enough in most cases and it’ll go a long way. When expectations are clear, so is your conscience.
- Ask for help. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. There’s no shame in saying “no.” An old manager of mine once said, “don’t be a Bart,” and she went on to tell a story about an old colleague of hers who said “yes” to anyone and everyone who asked him to tackle something. Eventually he bit off more than he could chew and started dropping balls and missing deadlines. Asking for help is respected and in many cases expected. Don’t be a Bart!
Practice one or more of these tactics if you don’t already do so and regain control of your time and life. Don’t be surprised if you soon feel the weight of the unknown lift off of your shoulders!
What do you do to stay your path?