Workload is becoming a major issue in the retention and recruitment of quality staff. There just don’t seem to be enough staff to go round.
Here are some simple bite-sized chunks that will help you on your way to tackling your workload.
Make sure you fully understand the task.
Time is precious and it is important that valuable time is spent going in the ‘right direction’. Don’t be ‘scared’ to ask for clarification on the task requirements. To ask for clarification can be seen as a quality rather than a sign of weakness.
Stick to the given deadline. Each task is important, but often tasks are interlinked and someone else will be relying on you to complete a particular task, even if it is just a signature. Missing a deadline can lead to a ‘ripple effect’ of increased pressure and workload across an organisation.
You only have one pair of hands. Even though many portray themselves as superhuman and say they can multi-task, it is better to concentrate on one task at a time. Try categorising tasks as high, medium or low priority – even colour coding accordingly. Consider the importance and potential impact. This can also be related to paperwork/emails etc.
URGENT: I need to do this. USEFUL: I may need this in the future, so I’ll put it somewhere safe ( filed). USELESS: Trash it. INTERESTING: I’d like to read this, but I don’t have time. I’ll save it for another time
If tasks are landing in your in-tray tasks, have the confidence to push back! You only have a certain amount of time. Ask your line manager what you should abandon in order to meet this deadline, or if that’s not possible, make them aware of your current pressures.
Make sure everything you do has the desired impact. Avoid repetitive tasks and think of ways to streamline and avoid the same information being completed in varying formats.
Making myself more efficient. Complete administrative tasks in meetings, consider effectively using technology to manage information better.
Sort paperwork, materials and resources, and only keep the essentials. Tidy as you go. There is nothing more satisfying than shredding a piece of paper! Create filing systems for your paperwork/emails so you know where everything is. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a clear out!
Read it on a computer screen and save the file. Not only has it got less impact on the environment it also avoids files of paperwork. If you don’t miss the document, you don’t need it!