Proper time management is a common challenge faced by workers resuming work, especially after summer or annual leave, and particularly during a pandemic when things are changing weekly if not daily! In this podcast, we dive into time management tips to get back on task.
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Looking at tasks that have piled over time is overwhelming, and many people have a hard time separating a priority task from those that can be left temporarily. This often causes panic and stress, which is not good for employees who just came back from their holiday. That said, below are some time management tips to help you jump back to work after a summer holiday.
The typical rule of three can come in handy if you are feeling overwhelmed. According to this rule, you should identify what you need to accomplish within the next three days. This will help to give you a sense of control at work. After you’ve identified the pressing tasks, don’t attempt to work on them all within one day. Instead, spread them out and create a to-do list. This will ensure that you give each task the attention it needs and deserves.
You should use your list to hold yourself accountable through it all. It is best to start with any assignments that give you great stress and anxiety as you adjust back to your work environment. By the third day, you should have developed an effective working momentum and reinforced positive working habits. Now you can tackle the remaining workload in time with confidence.
Communicating with your management team is important if you feel overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. While it can be tempting to downplay or cover up what you are struggling with or how overwhelmed you are, doing this will only create more problems. The best solution is to approach your supervisor and discuss your current tasks, size of workload, and expectations.
If you think you cannot complete the piling tasks on your desk within the given period, ensure your manager is aware of this. They can help you identify priorities and other alternatives.
Everyone certainly has their productive hours, be it in the morning, mid-morning, or late in the evening. Therefore, you should identify your most productive hours and use them to work on tasks with the highest priority. To achieve this, ensure that you eliminate all possible distractions, such as calls and emails. Focusing on these tasks during your mental prime time will help you get back on track faster.
Reaching out to your workmates and department teams is another viable way of completing your tasks on time. As mentioned, most employees on summer holiday often find a lot of piling tasks on their desks. Unfortunately, most of them also feel embarrassed to reach out to their colleagues for help when they actually need it. Most likely because they don’t want to come out as failures.
However, utilizing the strength of your team is always better than a single effort. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel anxious asking your fellow employees for help. Business leaders and managers should make this part of the work culture in an organization. You could offer to buy lunch or share entertaining stories about your holiday as they help you out.
If your tasks are overly overwhelming, consider taking a break. It's one of the great time management tips! Grab some coffee or go for a short walk to help offload your anxiety. Naturally, feeling overwhelmed often makes it difficult to plan and execute what should be done. After the break, you can resume sorting and prioritizing tasks at hand, taking note of deadlines, and scheduling tasks according to urgency.
Resuming work after the summer break is a challenge for most people. Diminished time management skills, piling workload, and the need to readjust to your workplace often make it daunting to resume optimal productivity. Make use of the time management tips mentioned above to get back on task quickly.