Keeping track of your workload is fundamental to keeping your business running smoothly. If you’re unsure what’s in your pipeline, then your business is going to suffer as deadlines are missed or your business fails to prepare for a downturn in work. Perhaps the most important thing you can do as a business owner is organise.
Being organised can be a daunting task, and can seem almost impossible when work keeps coming in. When your workload feels overwhelming, it is more important than ever to have tools and systems to help you and your team cope.
Establish a Workflow
One of the first things that any business owner should do is to establish their workflow. You may know what it takes to get a project completed and all the steps involved, but does your team? If these aren’t clearly outlined for you and your employees to follow, then your project can quickly fall apart, deadlines will be missed, and business will be lost. If you clearly establish a workflow for each project, keeping everyone on the same page, then assigned tasks will be completed seamlessly and your workload (and stress level) will be reduced!
Prioritisation Is Key
One of the best things you can do to keep track of and manage your workload is to prioritise the tasks that take the most time to do. These tasks may be mundane, such as data entry, but they are essential to your overall project success and you will thank yourself for doing these now, when later on you are swamped and don’t have the time.
It can be tempting to tackle small tasks first to get more off your to-do list, but this leaves with little time or energy to tackle your larger jobs later in the day. So, be sure to prioritise your tasks and get the biggest jobs for the day done, this will help to reduce your workload as deadlines approach.
Create A Daily Plan of Action
Sometimes, when we feel like we are drowning with a workload that’s too large, we don’t know where to start. Well, you’ve got to start somewhere, and making a plan of action every day will help you to manage your workload. Sit down before you start work, maybe even get there earlier than everyone else and create a “To-Do List”, this will help you to visualise and execute your goals every day. If you find your mornings get out of your control, you might even want to plan tomorrow before you leave work and go in with a focus no matter what distractions may have popped up.
Having a plan will help you maintain your sanity when your workload gets to be too much. It gives you a mantra:“Just stick to the plan”. If you are not sure where to start, the Eisenhower matrix can be a great place to start. Do first in your day the things that are important and urgent and plan for the things that are important but not urgent.
Ever Heard Of The 20-20-20 Rule?
Encouraging your employees to adopt a 20-20-20 rule can save them from burnout when the workload is stressful. For every 20 minutes that you spend staring at your computer screen, switch your focus to something 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. The idea is to break your focus and save your eyes. You can also get up and go for a quick walk to the bathroom or water cooler, or if you work at home, put the kettle on. The 20-20-20 rule will help you to manage your days better and not be so burned out come deadline time.
Do One Thing At A Time
Most of us are in the habit of multitasking and while some can and some can’t, it’s not always beneficial to your workload to try and multitask. If you find yourself with too much on your plate, see the above tips and try and do one thing at a time. Respond to that email, THEN continue writing that document, or schedule a block of time out of your day to respond to emails and get everything else that’s not emails done during the rest of your work day. Multitasking is great and can be a great way to manage your time, it can also ultimately be counterproductive and leave you with a lot of things half-done.
Keeping on top of your workload is tough, especially when deadlines are near and the pressure is mounting - but relax, pay attention to these tips and you’ll get through it - promise.