Sometimes, things can get a bit much at work. Looming deadlines start mounting up faster than we can breathe, emails run into the hundreds, and our desk looks like a battlefield. In all the confusion and overwhelming chaos we start to wonder, how will I ever get on top of it all?
We've all been there, right? But fear not. There's a way out of mounting work chaos and overwhelm back into productivity and tranquility. And if you're reading this, you've already taken the first step to being organized.
So let's dive in and discover how we can turn the stress of this mess into organized productivity so you can spend your weekends having fun instead of dreading Monday.
Feeling Overwhelmed is part of life
Feeling overwhelmed from time to time is normal. Especially at work. Your company, business, or position will naturally have busy periods. And then there's the unforeseen hiccups and things we just didn't expect. It's natural that we feel the pressure at these times. And if they start to mount up we naturally respond with feelings of overwhelm.
Getting organized when you feel overwhelmed
Being organized is a skill. Which is great because it means it can be learned. So, if you're always overwhelmed or frequently feeling overwhelmed, it's time to develop your organizational skills.
Organization doesn't just happen. It takes time. You either dedicate time to organize, or you don't. The problem is that very often when we feel overwhelmed, we end up in a rush and see organizational planning as taking up too much time. We choose immediate gains on the project at the expense of long-term organization and productivity.
How to get organized to reduce being overwhelmed
Getting organized should always be a priority. You'll see immediate benefits when you dedicate time to organizing your day, project, or year. And because I like to be organized, I've broken getting organized into four simple categories. Following these steps for each and every project can help you to be more organized and productive.
Prioritize, break down, and schedule
The backbone of being organized is having a good grip on what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and when it needs to be done. Understanding all this comes from experience. If you're not qualified for the job or under-experienced, getting help, support or assistance from someone might be your first port of call. If, on the other hand, you know your job, industry, company, product, or project intimately, you should have no problems with this fundamental step.
What are your deadlines? What absolutely must happen before each deadline, and what's subordinate? How important is each task? Can they be broken down into smaller tasks? Prioritize what needs to be done. Once you have this information, you can work backward and make a schedule with your own smaller personal deadlines. Chunking your workload like this helps to create manageable steps and a smooth process for productivity.
Filing, tracking, templates, and automating
We waste and spend a lot of time on things that could be automated, tracked, or filed better. Create a logical filing system, a reliable tracking system and automate anything that can be automated. There are hundreds of apps, business tools, and platforms to help with organizing your workload and project team. Taking time to consider what apps, tools, and platforms will be best suited to solve the task at hand will save you time in the long run. And while creating templates can be time-consuming in the beginning, once you've put in the effort, templates save a lot of time.
Resourcing and delegating
Now you know what you need to achieve, and when you need to achieve it, you should know whether it's possible. If it's not logistically possible with the resources you have, you will end up feeling overwhelmed. Now is the time to tool up. Outsourcing, delegating, and resourcing are important parts of getting organized if you feel overwhelmed and the workload exceeds your capabilities. If you want to reduce the chaos, be productive, and enjoy your job, this organizational task is paramount to your success. But if you're the kind of person who likes to be in control, this might be your biggest challenge.
Pacing yourself with time management
Now you know exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it. And you know where to find your files, your work colleagues, support resources, to-do lists, and deadlines. To turn your workplace chaos and feelings of overwhelm into organized productivity all you have to do is pace yourself.
There are many ways to pace yourself in the world and the work environment, so find a method that suits you. Whether you use the Pomodoro technique or time boxing, pacing yourself means coming up for fresh air once in a while. This habit is much healthier for you physically and mentally. And when you're feeling good physically and mentally, it's easier to feel good about the tasks at hand and the deadlines coming up.
Taking care of yourself when you feel overwhelmed
If you're feeling overwhelmed right now and in need of a little bit of relief, try using meditation apps, mindfulness exercises, and relaxation audios. When we feel overwhelmed, we tend to go into fight or flight. Orienting your body towards rest and digestion mode instead of stress will help you to function and be more clear-headed, organized, and productive.
Lifestyle changes for better organization
Getting organized isn't just about how you engage and deal with work demands and getting on top of work tasks. Being organized is a skill, an ability and a way of life. There are things we can implement in our personal lives that can help too. For example, decluttering your life can have a powerful effect on your working life, helping you to be more creative and productive.
It sounds counterintuitive, but adopting a slow living lifestyle can have a profound effect on you, your family, your productivity and your career. By streamlining our lives, prioritizing what's important, and taking things slowly, we become more productive in what we do and thrive in all areas of our lives.
Overwhelmed or burnt out?
Feeling overwhelmed should never be a constant feeling. If you sense you're feeling overwhelmed more than you're not, better organization and self-care might not help. You could be heading for job burnout. If you sense this might be the case, focusing on beating job burnout before it beats you might be more valuable than getting organized.
Being organized reduces the feelings of confusion, stress, feeling overwhelmed, and mental health problems. Taking time out to get organized helps you function and operate more efficiently and effectively. In this fast-paced world, taking a proactive and holistic approach to dealing with your workload could be the difference between a future of fortune or a career you're desperate to get out of. Take control today, put yourself first, and use this information to get organized.
Cover photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash