We spend the majority of our time working. For us, women work, doesn’t just mean paid work; we’re still doing the largest part of housework and childcare too. Of course, you may find your job fulfilling and feel rewarded by caring for your home and family. But it’s worth making an effort to streamline and simplify. Many of us waste time and create stress unnecessarily. If your work overwhelmed you, is a sign. It’s a signal to shift something from your mindset to your schedule.
So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed at work? How can you be less stress and overwhelm?
All you need to do is to focus on just two key areas to improve the way you work.
Clutter – Don’t let a messy environment affect your productivity
The feeling of being overwhelmed stem from a clattered mind and clattered environment
Your office, your paperwork, your desktop, your digital files, your bookshelf
I am sure you heard “cluttered desk cluttered mind …”
Productivity is important in both home and work life, and staying focused and motivated is key. Unfortunately, some things threaten to throw us off track like noise, bad lighting, and clutter. Most of us don’t realise the influence a pile of stuff can have on our ability to process information.
Any junk increase the impact clutter has on our brain, and consequently, its effect on productivity in your work.
What clutter in your office does to your brain
When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information.
Solution – Destroy the clatter, destroy the overwhelm
Do you waste time looking for papers, files, emails etc?. Being disorganised or having a messy office and desk means you waste time to search for things. Those minutes rifling through pails of papers and bulging emails folders add up quickly. But clatter also distract you and makes you less productive and overwhelmed
So how can you learn to break this habit?
If you worry you may throwaway something you may need in the future…Break this habit, just do it. It’s the only way you learn you don’t need the clutter. Then the urge to hoard will diminish.
If you can’t bear a total clear out, create a place to store the things you may think you don’t need. Be strict and set a time limit of a month when you will review things, then be ruthless and throw away things you haven’t looked at in that time.
Being too busy
If you tend to take on too much, staying on top of clutter falls low on the list of priority. Just be sure you’re not using this one as an excuse
Recognise that putting aside some time to go through everything and clear things out will save time in the long run. Plan a half-day to do it, put in your diary a couple of weeks in advance
After that, you need to look at whether you’re being unrealistic in what you’re expecting of yourself
If you despair of the state of your working or living space and think you can’t get on top of it, ask yourself whether you’re taking too much. It can be a sign you’ve let your life become unmanageable
Time Management – Manage your time
Have set days/half days for specific things.
Cognitive Switching between tasks makes you far less effective, so schedule time for things like finance, admin, creative time, client time, for some of you- content creation
Also, a list should be your best friend – and be strict the way you make it.
Start your day by writing down everything you want to do. Break it down into smaller manageable parts. For example, rather than writing “organising workshop”, write “set the day for the workshop”. That will be more manageable
Once you have written down everything, prioritise it
Decide which is the most urgent/important and write number 1, 2 and so on…
Accept that you may not get everything done on the list by the end of the day, and then transfer it to the next day.
Having written things down will help remove some of the pressured feelings of trying to remember tasks floating in your mind this can be a quite major cause of stress
Do one thing at the time
You will get more from it if you focus on the job in hand and ignore what isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, today’s fashion for multi-tasking is the rival of concentration. This means that if you’re half-heartedly typing away at your keyboard or answering the phone while mentally doing your shopping list, you’re reducing your effectiveness. Studies prove that people who juggle different tasks at the same time are less productive and more stressed out.
Also, forget the old myth about women being better at multi-tasking. Again, studies show that we‘re not more skilled at it than men, we’re simply more willing to do it! We know that modern communication makes it harder to concentrate; we’re all available all the time. So keep your email and phone switched off and spend five minutes checking both once an hour, it really will wait. We have become so used to being “on-call” “but this is just a habit.
Resist the temptation to try to do bits of different tasks at the same time. The reality is you will get everything done much faster if you complete one task at the time
Beat the “do -it –all” anxiety
If you have decluttered, prioritised and got strict about time, and you still feel overwhelmed with what you have to do, you’re probably overloaded. The urge to take on everything usually stems from fear. You may be afraid that the client will think badly of you, or that someone “better” can get your job. This type of fear is especially relevant for working mums
Focusing on just those two areas can help you tackle your overwhelmed at work and get you back on track.
Remember, control is all about keeping yourself organised and being honest about what you can handle.
If you feel overwhelmed with the workload and would like some help with it. I can help you reorganise your time and mind-set. How much is worth feeling better, less stressed out and happier?
Book your free 30 min consultations to discuss how I can help you reorganise your time and mind-set.