We have all been there. Looming deadlines, taking on extra projects that end up blowing out to much more time, public holidays that shorten your week and double your workload. It’s tough, really tough when sitting down to look at your list fills you with a sense of dread because you feel like it simply can’t be done.
I get you, I’ve been there.
Having dug my way out of this hole more times than you can count, here are my tips on getting your workload back under control without losing your mind.
Take a deep breath.
Call it a little woo-woo if you like but I recommend this first, as it can often head off a full-blown crisis before it has a chance to take hold. Take one deep breath, as deep into your lungs as you can and let it out with an audible ‘wooosh’. This floods your brain with oxygen which gives you a mini high and the ‘wooosh’ sound makes you feel like you’re actively releasing something. By taking a minute to relax, instead of getting caught in a tornado, starting your day off on completely the wrong foot and with a poor attitude, start your day in control and a bit calmer. You’ll be surprised and how much more achievable that list looks now.
Get your priorities in order
Work out what you absolutely MUST do and what you can move out. Promised something to someone? Make sure you know what that deadline is and make it – your reputation is important. Probably should write a blog or schedule your own social media posts? That one you can let slide – this time. When you’re deep in the shit, sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get back on top. Reschedule the task and come back to it when the air has cleared a little. Better to cut a few things off the list and achieve your goals than panic and not get to any of it.
Make more time
No, I’m not a magician, but we can all find a little more time in our day or working week, in the short term. Get to work an hour or two earlier and really dedicate that time to getting shit done. Work on a Saturday morning or stay back late. Post-pone your gym session or a long lunch with your bestie, anything to pull yourself out of the shit. I will make a clear note here though – and this is an emergency relief operation only, not your day to day function. We all need balance to survive our working lives, but for a short-term offensive this is a really effective way to get back on top quickly
Say no but…to anything new
When the client comes to you wanting another thing, a new thing, or more of the same, right now you have to say no… but. Just tell them you’re booked solid right now and that you will absolutely get to it in a week or two – but today or this week, you simply cannot. If you continue to stack your plate high with all that working goodness, you’re bound to burn out as you keep putting more and more in. Sometimes you just have to get to the point where you just say no.
There is no way that you can possibly anticipate or avoid getting yourself into a situation like this again where you are so deep in that you cant see a way out. All you can do is learn how to cope with it when it hits, and just try harder not to let it get so far next time.
These are tips that have really helped me get myself out of the shit when I get there. I would love to hear what your coping mechanisms are, so shoot me a comment on Facebook or Instagram and share with me what you do to dig yourself out of the hole.