How do you prioritise your work and survive the fallout from a book fair? At the moment you may be struggling with extra workload from at least one book fair or outside event. Add to that the fact that whilst you’ve been out of the office the work still came rolling in. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Even if there are extra staff resources, you still feel you want to replicate yourself, or hide under the desk.
Here are some key points to remember.
1. Relax. Stress will send your body into fight or flight mode. Whilst some of us might feel we work our best under stress, long-term it takes its toll health-wise. Notice how you always get ill on the first day of any holiday? It’s probably due to your stress hormones going a bit awry after working full-on for a while.
2. Make a list. Don’t make a complete list of everything you need to do, as some productivity experts will tell you. A complete list is often counter-productive – no matter how much work there is to do, there will always be more work to do. Instead, make a list of the projects and thoughts that you want to action that day or week. Prioritise this list, especially the items that are keeping you awake at night, or distracting you during the day.
3. Stop the interruptions in the office. Every time you get interrupted, it takes your brain minutes to concentrate again. An interruption might be your colleagues, email notifications, your mobile, social media. No one will notice if you disappear for a short while. If you have to, book an appointment with yourself in the office diary to make this happen.
4. Balance the workload. If you have competing projects, which are all due at the same time, split your day into slots and spend time on each. This way you can progress them all, or decide to progress the one that you feel is stressing you the most.
5. Keep to regular hours. Working longer hours doesn’t make anyone more productive. You might need to work an extra hour here or there, but remember, the work expands to the time we allow to fill it. Having time out from work is critical to being more productive. Time out ensures you are more refreshed and relaxed. Which brings us back to point 1.