Solving the Work Overload Time Problem

    February 26, 2007

Work overload, and the accompanying stress of not having enough hours in the day, is a major problem for many business owners and managers. Not only is the issue of feeling snowed under by too much work an issue for entrepreneurs and exectives, it’s getting worse. Some business people are left to dream of adding magical hours to their clocks as a last resort.

As more and more jobs are reduced from downsizing, offshoring, and outsourcing, many managers are feeling the pressure to add responsibilities to their own heavy workloads. For business owners, a growing company brings additional work and responsibility. The need for improved time management has never been more crucial than it is for business people today. Finding solutions to the work overload problem is vital for both employees and management. The very survival of the business may depend upon it.

It’s time for the busy person of business to take a crash course in time management. If there ever was a need to gain expertise in any area of business, effective use of time available is a great place to start. Many overwhelmed business people believe they know all there is to know about managing both their own time and that of their staff. Unfortunately, that assumption on their part is often not anywhere close to reality.

Effective time management has many sides, but two basics are setting priorities, and concentrating on completion of the task at hand. In effect, the goal is to make the most effective use of the time available, and that means taking care of the most important jobs. The most important tasks are often the big ones, and they need to be given first priority. While the small jobs might not seem difficult, taken together, they can use up the entire block of available time. Their role is to be left until the most important issues are addressed.

Focus upon and complete the highest value jobs first. Smaller jobs can be delegated to other people. Even subsidiary portions of the major items can be spread out to other staff members. An inability to properly delegate jobs and responsibility is a major cause of work overload and time management problems.

Have everyone given part of the workload also share in the planning and timing of the task. Develop times for completion of each role to allow for accountability. The parts to be completed by the entrepreneur or the manager should be those parts requiring special expertise. Routine work can and should be delegated to others.

When setting up your day, tackle that most important and high value job first. Concentrate on it until it’s completed. Avoid distractions. If there is a deadline looming, have your calls held and avoid adding meetings to your agenda. The work needs completion, and the business often depends upon its success.

Once the high value jobs are completed, reward yourself and those around you for a job well done. After the first major project is completed successfully, other big jobs will seem less daunting. The work will no longer appear overwhelming and will be completed properly and on time.

Focus upon and complete those high value jobs first. Let time become your friend, and not be your foe.


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