As we all try to navigate the new normal of working from home, a common problem many remote employees seem to be experiencing is the sense of being overloaded with work while not having enough time in the day to finish all tasks.
Attempting to decrease your workload while trying to manage your time efficiently is a balancing act on its own. Ideally, you’ll want to create a working schedule that will enable you to maximise your hours by clamping down on time spent on idle tasks, allowing you to focus your energy on time-sensitive priorities.
Without a defined workload management strategy, productivity will suffer.
Having a clear structure in place where priorities are separated from basic everyday tasks can relieve pressure and help manage your stress levels more effectively so that you’re eager to take on the next challenge. This sort of adjustment in workload reduction and time management has been proven to yield long-lasting advantages in productivity.
Setting time aside for yourself to focus entirely on one project at a time means fewer mistakes will need to be corrected, less back and forth correspondence between team members and, ultimately, deliver a faster turn-around time for all work assignments.
Here are our tips to increasing productivity while reducing your workload to be more results-oriented, and overall, less stressed.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload, it’s important to remember not all tasks require the same urgency. Putting the most important jobs on hold is a recipe for procrastination.
Segregating your various projects into different categories, all with their own timeline as well as the level of importance will allow you to break down your deadlines into actionable to-do’s helping you to reach your goals more productively.
Stop multi-tasking and focus on the current job. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture, by dissecting your heavy workload into time-sensitive and non-time-sensitive tasks, you’ll be able to see what projects would need to be primarily prioritized, so you can feel more focused while making your workload more manageable.
Give yourself a set amount of time to complete each assignment and stick to it. Block all distractions for you to get into a flow state of your work and leave all other basic tasks to be dealt with later.
Being more productive means more work getting done in a smaller amount of time instead of being interrupted, and switching from task to task.
Setting priorities and deadlines will help assure that your goals are realistic and achievable. Try giving yourself an hour to complete an assignment. If you’re still busy after an hour, break down your assignment into smaller tasks, each with its own deadline. Checking off task by task in smaller segments can simplify what once seemed like an impossible hurdle.
It’s important to remember procrastination is also a product of your environment and oftentimes, external distractions are out of our control. This doesn’t mean they can’t be prevented through positive boundaries.
Once you have settled on your to-do list, it’s important to create a workspace with zero disturbances. Turn off your email notifications, switch your phone to airplane mode and let anyone in the vicinity know that you will be unavailable until your deadline is met.
Setting boundaries will also help you discipline yourself to restrict all non-project-related correspondence or tasks so you can stay focused while in the zone.
If you’re working remotely in a team, knowing who is responsible for various tasks as well as when those tasks need to be completed is vital to ensure any burnout.
Online virtual assistants, like those found at AVirtual, make use of the toolkit Basecamp to make sure all work is kept organized in one place and staff are able to create a list of to-dos that can be assigned to other teammates ensuring clear progress across-the-board.
Optimise with technology.
In the technologically advanced world we’re living in, there is an abundance of software created to optimise business workflow processes.
Using software and other tools to organize and decrease your workload as well as streamline all communications amongst colleagues and management, has been proven to increase productivity and overall business efficiency.
Take a breather.
Want a cure for a creative block? Take a break.
While you need to be strict with your time management to reach your goals, sometimes we can’t help but hit a block in inspiration. Taking a step back not only helps to re-evaluate our goals and de-stress between the high pressure but it’s been scientifically proven to boost creative thought.
Setting limits to how long you’re on your computer can help prevent these moments of burnout and often, you’ll find more of a push to get everything you need to be done within those limits.
Communication is key.
While work overload is not always preventable, having clear open communication and support from your team will optimize the performance of the business as a whole.
Practice being a good communicator with your team. Be clear with your inquiries and available when your team is relying on you.
Reach out to management or your teammates when you are experiencing difficulties or business-related issues so that all parties involved are aware of any disruptions and can adjust accordingly.
Bear in mind, being available to your team does not mean you shouldn’t have clear boundaries between your work and personal life.
Set times to respond to correspondence so that your workflow remains uninterrupted and you are able to focus, structure and prioritize tasks.
Good collaboration between management and employees is essential to reducing workload.