Are you feeling stressed out at work? Do you feel like you have too much to do, and not enough time to do it? Well, luckily, there are ways to make your busy, challenging job a little bit easier. Author Erin Greenawald offers the following suggestions:
- Make a realistic “to do” list – It’s a good idea to make a list of the things that you’d like to get done during the day. But make sure your list is realistic! Don’t include a bunch of tasks that you know you won’t be able to complete, and will leave you feeling unhappy because you were unable to meet your goal. Make sure your list is reasonable so you can feel good about what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day.
- Remove things from your “to do” list – If there are items on your list that have been there for a long time, it’s probably time to reassess them. Are these tasks really necessary or important? Can they be deleted from your list (or possibly delegated to someone else)?
- Plan to work hardest when you have the most energy – Are you a morning person? An evening person? Or does your brain really kick into gear around lunchtime? There’s probably a certain time of day when you tend to have the most energy. Try to get your most difficult tasks done then, and leave the more easy tasks for those times when you’re feeling a little more sluggish.
- Write short emails – Try to get into the habit of writing short emails. Be polite, get right to the point, and provide the necessary information. But try to avoid writing long paragraphs of text. It will save you time if you can keep it brief.
- Use templates whenever possible – Before you start working on a project (like writing a report, creating a questionnaire, or developing training), find out if there’s already some sort of template or guide that you can follow. It will make the process much quicker and easier. The same is true with emails. If you often need to send out the same kind of email over and over, create a standard message and then just cut and paste.
- Don’t try to multitask – Multitasking is not especially efficient or effective. When you multitask, you’re not actually working on multiple things at the same time. You’re just switching back and forth between tasks, instead of focusing on one thing at a time. And this can have negative consequences, including a drop in productivity, increased mistakes, and increased feelings of stress. So try to work on just one task at a time. You’ll get more done and you’ll feel better.
- Ask whether meetings are really necessary – Meetings take up a lot of time, and they’re often not really necessary. Ask yourself whether the meetings that you’re attending are essential. If you think they’re not, talk to your manager about it. There might be better, quicker, easier ways to get the work done than in a meeting.
Greenawald, E. (n.d.) 31 genius tips for making your workday easier. The Muse. Retrieved from: https://www.themuse.com/advice/31-genius-tips-for-making-your-workday-easier