This past year, so many employees experienced workplace burnout. Many people were overworked and felt Zoom fatigue, and many also suffered from the lack of time management skills—and put off work until the last moment. This meant tasks accumulated, and then people felt extremely overwhelmed. Which led to burnout, as they had too much to do in too little time.
If you were one of those people in 2021, the good news is you can turn it around in 2022. Getting all your work done and done on time isn’t magic but a very real skill—a skill that can be learned. And below are four ways to avoid feeling that overwhelming and overworked feeling—and thrive in the New Year.
1. Reduce your never-ending to-do list
The following technique will help with the habit of overestimating your strengths and time resources: a) Set a timer for 15 minutes and try to do as many little things as possible: respond to e-mails, make an important call, tidy up your desk. b) After that, devote the next 35 minutes to your most difficult task. c) Then, take a 10-minute break and start over.
If you keep this up, at the end of the day you'll look at the impressive list of completed tasks—and praise yourself. This will cause your dopamine levels to rise, and strengthen your will and motivation to keep going.
2. Get to your peak, then stop
When you feel like you’ve maxed out your efforts, that’s when you want to stop—not keep going and power through. This technique is simple: a) Start doing a difficult task. b) As soon as you feel that you’ve reached the peak of your abilities, stop. c) Step away from your desk and move—walk, stretch, even nap. d) While you move (or lie down), try to forget about work—if you can do that, that's when your brain switches and starts thinking creatively. e) Come back to your original task with a fresh perspective and new ideas.
3. Don't take on extra work
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a colleague if you don’t have time to cope with things. Of course, it’s not easy to ask for help—you don’t want to be seen as someone who can’t take on extra work. However, you also don’t want to be seen as someone who can’t finish their work on time, or put in all their effort on their work.
So, sometimes, you need to fight the urge to take on too much in the desire to do everything yourself. In the end, you’ll find that it often turns out that there wasn’t such a need for you alone to complete the task—it was just important that it get done. And you’ll also find out that learning to say no and to delegate is not frowned upon.
4. Don't be afraid to postpone deadlines
Like saying no to work, asking to postpone a deadline isn’t easy, since you think you might ruin your reputation as a responsible employee. But don’t think that you’ll not be understood: failure to meet deadlines happens to everyone. And warning your colleagues ahead of time is much better than just not turning your work in when it’s due.
So, if you need to, ask to shift your deadline, and then finish what you started at a more relaxed pace. Note that deadlines are often arbitrary—not necessarily put in place for a real reason. And so, pushing them out a few days (or weeks) might not be an issue at all.
Oliver Smith is a writer and editor who works for Ivory Research writing service. He specializes in content related to digital marketing, SEO, SMM, and eCommerce. Oliver is also a freelance guest post writer and an enthusiastic blogger who helps B2B companies reach their audiences more effectively. When he isn't writing, you can find him at the gym, snowboarding, or doing some other sports activities. Oliver is a husband and the father of two cute girls.
Rasmus Hougaard is on a mission to humanize the workplace. Hougaard is the founder and CEO of the Potential Project, which helps leaders at Accenture, Cisco, Lego, and other top companies manage their minds to stay focused, reduce stress, boost productivity, and improve well-being.
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