Connect with us

US News

Falling Behind On Work? Take These Steps To Get Back On Track

Brittany Jordan

Published

on

No matter how organized and productive you normally are, there will be times when you’ll feel overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do. Feeling like you’re behind on your work can cause additional stress that can affect your output.

It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling this way and take the proper measures to get back on track. To that end, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council discussed the steps they take to reset their work and get back on track. Here’s how these strategies can help you establish a better overall plan for managing your workload.

1. Do A Brain Dump

Write everything you need to do on a piece of paper and start crossing things off and prioritizing. It’s important to get everything out of your head so that you can actually see what needs to be done and make decisions on what you need to let go. Sometimes we have things on a “to-do” list that really aren’t necessary. But if you’re in a mode where you’re just putting your head down and working without actually deciding what needs to be done and evaluating what doesn’t, then you risk getting into a cycle of burnout again and again. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

2. Prioritize Your Backlog

If work is piling up, it’s time to prioritize your backlog as best as possible. Compile all of those tasks in one place and categorize them by priority, urgency or complexity. You can push through the most important tasks first and free up some time to sort out the rest of the backlog, or tackle the lowest hanging fruits by reducing the number of activities you have to complete. In some cases, having the bigger picture in one place could be a great opportunity to delegate some work or even outsource to partners in times of need. Having the opportunity to reflect may expose opportunities to hire for a new role, find an assistant or put a hold on activities that eat up your time regularly without producing the ROI you need. – Mario Peshev, DevriX

3. Take Stock Of The Bigger Picture

Sometimes when we fall behind, we tend to think that if we just go into overdrive and work faster, this will help us achieve more. However, this just isn’t the case. In fact, working hard over working smart is probably one of the most common mistakes people make when trying to manage their workload. When things are hectic, the one thing you must do is stop and take stock of the bigger picture and then prioritize your to-dos. Taking time to organize yourself may seem like you are taking time away from the very important tasks you must get done, but the upfront time investment here will pay dividends later. Prioritize by determining what tasks are the most urgent, what tasks must be done by you personally and what tasks you may want to delegate. – Maria Thimothy, OneIMS

4. ‘Reset’ Your Brain

When I’m falling behind and feel like I’m treading water, the key for me is to “reset” the computer that is my brain. Running around all day context switching and not prioritizing tasks is a recipe for disaster and burnout. One solution that helps reset my priorities is to go to bed as early as possible. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s like a forced reboot when the computer is acting weird. Then, the next day, I get up as early as I can and fix my to-do list so I’m not caught in the same cycle. This helps me optimize my productivity and better manage my workload moving forward. – Cooper Harris, Klickly

5. Regain Focus With Mindfulness

When I find that I am not effective on calls or meetings and my focus is divided between other tasks, I make sure to do some kind of mindfulness activity. My four go-to activities are meditation, muscle relaxation, deep breathing and walks. These get rid of the feeling of being overwhelmed. After my morning mindfulness activity, I look over my list and pick two things. One is the most important item that needs to be done in order for the business to move in a positive direction. I work on getting this done before the day gets going so I get a sense of accomplishment and a better mood. The other is one that can be delegated to someone else. If that person can take that task permanently, I give it up. – Liam Leonard, DML Capital

6. Take Time For Yourself

When I am falling behind in my work, it often means that I am not being my most efficient self. And when that is the case, I try to do something that is completely counterintuitive to what someone might think: I usually take some time for myself to disconnect and focus on other things outside of work. My lack of focus and my inability to complete tasks is probably due to an imbalance in my life. By focusing on other areas of life—like family or exercising or meditating or going on a short trip—I recharge my batteries and find inspiration again. And when I am inspired, I can accomplish anything. – Anik Decoste, MTTR

7. Apply The 80/20 Rule

When you’re an entrepreneur, to-dos that pile up are a direct reflection of one of two things, if not both: poor goal setting and/or lack of proper delegation. Applying the 80/20 rule can decrease overwhelm, and all business owners at all levels should adopt this mindset. Firstly, set no more than one to three goals a quarter. Identify what’s urgent and focus on the 20% of the efforts that yield 80% of the results. If you don’t know what yields the most results, start by finding out and drop all other tasks. With proper delegation, a business owner is focusing on revenue-generating tasks. Delegation measures and proper processes ensure that work is being carried out to standard. Ultimately, if we focus on everything, we focus on nothing. Use the 80/20 rule on everything because not all tasks are of equal value. – Libby Rothschild, Libby Rothschild

8. Automate Simple Decisions

Every day I feel like I’m juggling thousands of decisions, from what to wear, to what to feed my children, to which work task to tackle first. When you are feeling overwhelmed, start to automate. Adopt a uniform, have a standard lunch choice or two, have your groceries delivered. Making fewer daily choices frees up your mind to focus on work duties and important projects. If you are still overwhelmed when it comes to that, start by doing the shortest and easiest tasks first. You want to create momentum, like a snowball rolling down a hill. Completing work brings you the confidence, energy and focus you need to address larger issues and projects, all while whittling down your overall to-do list. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

Copyright © 2021 Federal Inquirer. All rights reserved.