overwhelmed at work

What to Do When Work Feels Overwhelming

Feeling Overwhelmed at Work?

Do you ever feel like there are never enough hours in the day?  Do you start dreading going back to work on Sunday because you can’t stop thinking about all the things you have to do on Monday?  If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, take heart or stressed from a feedback.  There are techniques and strategies you can implement to make your work life more manageable.

First and foremost, it is important that you acknowledge your feelings.  The most productive and organized employees still feel overwhelmed at work at times.  Once you identify how you are feeling, the next step is to ask yourself why.  Sometimes, a person can simply have a bad day.  You didn’t sleep well, you have a sick child at home, etc.  These types of days tend to start poorly and then snowball.  You need to make sure that you recognize the difference between a bad day and a systematic work environment that causes stress.  The easiest way to identify each is by the length of time.  A rough day or week is not all that unusual but if you find yourself stressed out and overwhelmed on a regular basis, you may need to take stronger action to rectify the situation.  Once you have evaluated your situation, try to pinpoint the cause of your stress.  Are you in the middle of a big project that has a looming deadline?  Do you face team inefficiencies that cause frantic last minute situations?  If you can figure out the root cause of your frustration, you can more easily apply a solution.

Overwhelmed at Work Tips

Regardless of the cause, one, or all of these tips can help make you more efficient and eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed at work.

  1. Make a list and prioritize

It can be immensely helpful to sit down and make a to-do list that includes absolutely everything you need to get done.  This puts everything down in black and white so that you can quickly evaluate what you need to do and the timeline you have for each item.  Run through your list and highlight the items you would like to accomplish for the day.  A good list also gives you an opportunity to cross out items as you complete them, helping fuel positive momentum throughout the day.

  1. Schedule time

While it may sound silly, you should schedule time to get things done, especially email.  If you check email constantly throughout the day, you are breaking your concentration in order to open emails and add to-do items to your list.  Schedule two blocks of time to address incoming emails and keep yourself electronically efficient.  You can also schedule blocks of time to work on projects such as budgets or presentations.  If you put it on your calendar and show yourself as unavailable, you are more likely to commit to spending the time on a specific task and less likely to have interruptions from well-meaning coworkers.

  1. Identify when you are most efficient and maximize that time

If you are a morning person and get to the office before everyone else, use that time to get your most difficult tasks done.  Depending on your job and your personal preference you may be most efficient early in the day, late in the day or right after lunch.  Identify your peak performance hours and plan strategically.

  1. Don’t forget to take a break

This may feel counterintuitive, but taking a break allows you to gather yourself and return to your work feeling refreshed.  This can lower your stress level and make you more productive.  If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, step away from your desk and take ten deep breaths or stretch.  Even better, take a brisk walk around the building.  When you include self-care as part of your daily routine you are a happier and more efficient employee.

  1. Work with your team

Even in small teams, communication is important.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, chances are your colleagues have noticed.  Don’t be afraid to delegate the tasks that you can and work with your team to make things more manageable.

  1. Stay positive

Give yourself credit for those things you are able to get done and take joy in the small victories.  Some jobs simply aren’t designed to get it all done but that doesn’t mean you are not succeeding.  Walk into the office everyday with a positive mindset and be amazed at how much you can get done.  Be quick to celebrate the victories and even quicker to shake off the little things.

Get Help With Feeling Overwhelmed

Sometimes work stress is inevitable.  But it should never be all consuming or force you to dread your job.  While ASNOA can't fix everything, we can help you feel less overwhelmed about building your agency.  We offer direct carrier access and vital support functions such as IT training and accounting.  Call ASNOA and let us take the worry out of your work day.

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