25 Jun Dealing With Unmanageable Workloads
For the majority of us, our daily working lives go on within their allocated hours and, come the end of our working day, we can switch off, feet up and (for some and family commitments willing) get some “me time”.
However, there are many occasions where our workload can grow and grow until it’s no longer possible to carry out our duties within working hours. It could be, a shrinking workforce with your employer trying to cram in more productivity from fewer people, it could be a rapid evolution of your role or maybe inefficiencies within your department. More importantly, you need to ensure that your mental health and wellbeing is intact and when your workload is overwhelming, for some, stress and anxiety can kick in and it’s therefore important to nip this in the bud as soon as possible.
Whatever is causing it, if you’re seeing your responsibilities grow beyond what you’re capable of doing, sitting quietly and complaining to friends or partners when you arrive home isn’t going to cut it in the long term, you need to confront this at the source before it gets too much so that you can continue to perform in your role, appease the powers that be and maintain that proper work-life balance.
But before raising your hand exclaiming this is all too much, do your best to analyse the situation first; take a deep breath or put time aside, stop what you are doing and observe the situation. When did your workload start becoming too much, how has it progressed over time and what do you believe are the contributing factors to this?
Once you’ve understood the causes behind your situation, ask yourself, given the authority, how would you solve this in a realistic manner and what are the pros & cons to this suggested solution?
When you feel you have analysed the situation rationally and have a practical and carefully thought out option for solving this, you’ll be ready for a discussion. It’s always best to go to your direct report in the first instance, book in a meeting and explain how you’re struggling with your workload but you have some ideas to make this more manageable and you’d like to discuss this further. It will be a much more productive meeting if you can come to the table ready for an open discussion and be willing to provide proactive solutions to the problem at hand. Communication and listening is so important after all.
If you’re experiencing difficulties at work and you’d like a confidential and unbiased discussion about how to overcome issues before approaching them head-on, feel free to email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org