I am often asked, “How do you manage to keep calm with the workload you have to tackle?” The answer is very basic – the more organised I am, the calmer I feel. There will always be good days and bad days where work intensity rises and falls, but keeping organised and staying on top of tasks is essential to maintaining a positive mental wellbeing. The consequences of letting work pile up on top of you can have a really negative effect on you and your employees; if you feel under pressure, the likelihood is that your team will feel under pressure too.
As an employer you are expected to manage several tasks at once, which can be difficult and inherits a certain amount of stress. In order to reduce the amount of stress you may encounter, it is important to develop your task management and organisation skills. Part of task management is prioritisation – when you try to do everything all at once, you are spreading your attention very thinly over a large area and increasing the potential for mistakes. Eat away at the bigger tasks throughout the day and start them early.
One of the biggest issues I face is remembering key dates and important facts. I can come away from a quick meeting with a colleague after discussing something useful, and straight away I begin to forget useful information. Making notes after meetings and recording the outcomes and your thoughts on what has been discussed is a really helpful process. When it comes to writing a report or liaising with another colleague on a similar issue, you can refer to your notes and refresh your memory.
Delegating tasks is another helpful way to stay organised and on top of your work load. However, delegation does not mean shying away from tasks that don’t seem favourable and handing them over to somebody else without any consideration. Delegation takes some thought – who you choose to take over a task is very important. Make sure that you set early deadlines so that you allow enough time for assessment and error correction.
Sometimes, being organised is about knowing when you can’t take on any more tasks, so learn to say no – or delegate appropriately. By taking on more work than you can handle, you are setting yourself up to fail. Whereas, if you can find a threshold whereby you can take on enough tasks that can be completed to the best of your ability, without exhausting yourself, then you can remain positive, productive and prepared.