Do you ever get that feeling that no matter how hard you work, you’re not getting anywhere?
If your inbox is flooded, your notifications are non-stop, and you always feel as if you’ve forgotten something: you probably have too much on your plate.
Even though some people thrive when they are up to their necks in work, most of us feel much happier, satisfied, relaxed, and productive when we are able to manage our workload successfully.
If you have the habit of biting off more than you can chew, stick around as we’ll be exploring some of the ways, such as remote worker time tracking, to ensure you productively do your work instead of feeling exhausted from it.
1. Work Smarter
Most of us strive to do great in our line of work. Being great in our line of work does not have to mean taking on too much work.
To ensure you are still on top of the work, you have to pace yourself, be more assertive, and learn to say no. Sure, if you can do that one additional task in a couple of minutes, then go ahead, but if that task takes lots of time out of your busy schedule, do not do it.
Having too much work to do could negatively affect the quality of work, and your colleagues, bosses, and customers or clients are quickly going to see that.
As they say, work smarter, not harder.
2. Plan Ahead
Make sure you are always three steps ahead of your work. If you have a huge task you need to complete later in the month, but you have the time now, do that task now. You will feel much less stressed out, and your mind will be thankful.
Additionally, you can break down that big project into small tasks so you can manage them easily. This will also give you a sense of accomplishment each time you cross something off your list.
3. Timeboxing and Time Tracking
If you have too much work to do, you can consider a time management technique known as timeboxing, which can help you get your work time in order.
Basically, with timeboxing, you set a fixed amount of time to finish a specific task and only focus on that. It is not a problem if you do not complete the task in the amount of time you intended at first, but you must set a goal and evaluate if that goal is reached.
A great way to enhance your timeboxing efforts is to combine it with track computer usage software Since remote worker time tracking software is used to measure time on tasks, you can add each timebox as a separate task and keep track of progress in the software.
For more info about timeboxing and how to use it with track computer usage software, make sure you read our Quick Guide to Timeboxing.
4. Delegate Often
Delegation is a huge part of keeping yourself sane while, at the same time, maximizing your productivity. However, you may not know how to properly delegate your tasks, which stops you from doing it in the first place.
The best way to start is to learn to let go. It is okay not to do everything on your own. Next, you need to establish a prioritization system and only focus on the tasks you can do. For the rest of the tasks, delegate them to someone else who is a better fit.
5. Ask for Help
It is perfectly fine if you do not know everything about your job, because, to tell you a secret, no one does. No matter how experienced you are in a particular field, there is always a chance that something unknown will creep out.
Instead of taking your best guess, ask some of your colleagues. The most successful people are not afraid of asking for help and instead use that opportunity to learn from it. Your peers will appreciate that you are interested in learning something new.
6. Focus on What You Know
Just as taking on too much work can become a burden, offering to take on tasks that aren’t in your wheelhouse can also be a focus drain. While to you it may seem that you will be doing a good deed in helping your colleagues, are you sure that you have the needed experience and knowledge?
Your colleagues will respect you more if you tell them no, than if you mess up a task.
7. Avoid Distractions
We live in an age of non-stop distractions.
Every day, you could face:
- A barrage of Slack messages
- Incessant Asana notifications
- A sea of emails flooding your inbox
And it doesn’t stop there.
With everyone (and every app) vying for your attention, it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of what’s truly important.
To remedy this, focus on creating a distraction-free environment. Your workspace matters, so make sure you have a clutter-free desk, a do-not-disturb policy in place (applicable to both coworkers in the office or family members at home), and a solid pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Mute certain apps if you have to, as they can prevent you from accessing the flow state that you need to tackle complex problems.
If your team struggles with this issue too, consider implementing a time tracking tool like Insightful. Use it to ascertain peak productivity hours and build work schedules around them. Find out when distractions are most often taking you and your team away from important work and address them.
8. Incorporate Automation
If you have recurring, repetitive tasks: you can automate them to save time and energy.
These days there are hundreds of apps that help you do just that. Automation apps like Zapier handle the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to. You can use triggers to make sure one action leads to another without the need for manual input.
For example, every time you complete a certain report, you can automate it so that an email is sent out to the team member who can green light it and stamp it for approval.
Automation frees up cognitive space and time for you to focus on the most meaningful tasks on your plate.
9. Optimize your Communications
Effective communication is often the lynchpin of any successful team or organization.
Yet communication can also get in the way of personal productivity.
If you’ve set up systems to stay in touch that require more time and effort than others, then you’re literally wasting time.
There are several ways to make sure communication doesn’t get in the way of productivity:
Set up boundaries: Make sure everyone on your team knows that you won’t immediately reply to emails or messages. Set specific times during the day when you will respond, since that way, you won’t constantly get distracted by incoming messages.
Use the right tools: Tools like Slack have been designed with team communication in mind, and they can help streamline communication. While they can still be a distraction, you can more easily find relevant information in context-specific channels, cutting down on the time you might spend scrolling through long email threads.
Managing your Workload
The key to staying on top of your work is taking a stance and not being afraid of saying no. Once you try out some of the techniques we have written about in this post, you will realize that work can be a lot less stressful. Less stressful work days will help you feel more relaxed and productive, helping you to achieve more.