Produce more! Make it better! Spend less! Any of these sound familiar? If so, you’re in good company. These seem to have been the mantras within many organizations nowadays. It seems the onus may be on you to up your game, or find a new one.
It’s important to remember that using the same tools you’ve always used and doing more of the same won’t get you improved results. Here are 5 things that might help you do more with less:
- Ask the Questions: When the boss approaches you to take on more, don’t simply say yes and put your head back down. Instead, engage them in a dialogue about the specifics of the situation. Be sure you know how long the new project will last and what will be expected.
- Mutual Prioritization: Once you understand the scope of your additional duties, ask your manager to help you prioritize what needs to get done and what can be deferred. This helps to ensure that expectations are both realistic and mutually understood.
- Schedule: Organize yourself according to the new or revised priorities and plan your schedule. Make a habit of putting time in your schedule to review your weekly and daily tasks. This will help you to stay focused and on top of your most important tasks (MITs). Read here for some more time management tips.
- Breaks: Take more breaks. Not less. As you find yourself working more hours it’s important that you get up every 90 minutes or so. Take 10 minutes to get up and stretch, go for a walk or grab a quick coffee with a colleague. Your mind needs this break to recharge. Upon return you’ll have improved focus and creativity.
- Self care: Above all, be sure to pay close attention to your health & well-being. Things like learning to meditate, daily exercise and developing regular routines are key to your well-being. Both your personal and professional life will benefit.
I’ve seen great results from people engaging in these strategies. But if, despite your best efforts, you still find yourself falling further behind, you might want to cut your losses and avoid potential burnout.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive rest of the year!