Dealing with a heavy workload to complete in just a short amount of time may seem overwhelming, if not excruciatingly stressful. However, there are strategies out there that can help you in the long run and help you manage it better in the future.
1) Prioritise your time
Time is an important factor for this one, and each task should be prioritised by it. For example, if you have an urgent meeting that needs to be scheduled with your client(s) no later than this week, or a written report that has to be completed by next Monday at the latest. The key element here is time, and you should prioritise each task by deadline.
So, in this case, you would need to prioritise scheduling the important meeting first, as it has a tighter deadline and shouldn’t take long to confirm, granted communication between you and your client is good.
Once that is completed, or you wait for confirmation, you can focus on the longer process of the report. You could also complete smaller, less urgent tasks in this time too, in order to tick more tasks off the list.
2) Create a schedule/diary for your tasks
When it comes to deciding which tasks to complete, it’ll help to list them in a schedule or diary so you can keep track of which task to focus on and when. It’ll also help your organisational skills and help you plan out realistic time slots for each task. That, and it’ll give you your own realistic deadlines to stick to, rather than jumping from one project to the next with little to no direction.
3) Don't be afraid to say no
If you find you are simply too overwhelmed with tasks, it doesn’t hurt to say “no” every now and then, especially if the task isn’t all that important to begin with. Don’t be afraid to say no when you are already facing a heavy workload, and don’t feel as though you’d be able to complete it. It’s better to say no now, rather than agree to another task where you find you can’t finish the job well. In this situation, it’s important to put yourself first and know the limits of what you’re capable of.
4) Focus on your tasks and try not to get distracted
Once you have a schedule set up with an allocated time for each task, get started on them and try not to get distracted. Unless it’s urgent, try to focus purely on the task at hand as not to get offcourse and don’t let yourself become distracted by your surroundings or anything else on your screen. It’s important to turn all your attention to your current task and finish it, as once you do, it’ll be another thing to tick off your list and therefore, less on your workload.
5) Take breaks
As much as you may feel the pressure to finish your tasks in a short space of time, your physical and mental wellbeing is just as important, so make sure to take regular breaks between tasks. Take the time to sit back and breathe, make a drink or even just go on your phone for a few minutes. It’s important to give both your mind and body a rest, otherwise it’ll become frazzled and then inevitably stressed. After all, you are a human, not a robot, and can only do so much at once. Give yourself a break. Even if you are finding a task too difficult or challenging, take a break for a few minutes and return to it once you feel ready to tackle it again.
When it comes to heavily workloads, the key here is organisation and priority. Working hard is great, but working smart is even better.