Manage your workload

Apr 12, 2012, 10:03 IST | By Avinash Iyer

Effective handling of workload helps one meet deadlines without having to do superfluous work


The modern day workplace poses challenges to employees on multiple levels; some of them being meeting deadlines, juggling between time zones and negotiating appraisals. An effective way to rise to the occasion is by appropriate handling of one's workload. It involves time allocation, prioritisation of tasks and a review of one's skill sets.

‘Working’ model
These days with multi-tasking being the mainstay of corporate culture, an employee is expected to effortlessly play different roles within the same organisation. This requires an unprejudiced approach and a willingness to go beyond the defined tasks. An HR manager (name withheld on request) with a software company says, “Keeping the dynamic nature of corporate life in mind, employees should know how to allot required time to the various tasks assigned to them. Honouring deadlines is important.” Overstretching does not mean working extra. “It is a misconception that employees who stay for long after stipulated work hours are very sincere. While some may genuinely have work, there are others who do nothing but kill time,” he adds.
Load balancing
Any corporate is a network of people and responsibilities. Here are some of the ways to go about one's work without being overloaded:
Prioritise: It is important to accord suitable priority to the tasks to be accomplished and adhere to the schedule. Sarfraz Rumane, a sales professional in a manufacturing firm, states, “Preparing an ordered checklist of the tasks to do helps in attending to the most urgent ones at the earliest.” This way the workload can be reduced in a periodic fashion.
'Mind' over matter: When faced with a huge roster of tasks to be completed, it is advisable not to panic but chart out a mind map of the things to be done. It gives a clear perspective without setting one off in different directions. It also aids in prioritizing.
Assess before accepting: Before accepting new sets of responsibilities, it is a good idea to assess one's current to-do list and one's competencies. Any uncertainty should be discussed with seniors or colleagues. Seconding this the HR manager says, “Blindly accepting work and then not being able to complete it on time, only delays it and can at times have untoward repercussions.”
Reach out: At times, due to pressing reasons one has to take up tasks at a short notice which one is not fully aware of. In times like these reach out to colleagues and seek their guidance. It helps in simplifying the work.
Step back: While enthusiasm at work is a good thing, there are instances when it makes sense to sidestep and let someone who knows the work better, take over. This prevents overload of work on one person.
There are times when one is overloaded with work that has to be done by someone else. “In such cases, one must approach the person concerned and sort things out. It is pointless to do someone else’s share of work,” adds Rumane. “Delegate work, if and when possible,” Rumane further suggests.
However there are situations wherein there is a genuine overload of work on a single person. In such circumstances one should exercise prudence and concentrate on doing the work so as to not let the organization suffer.
Final say
Every organisation expects optimal output from its employees. Hence, it is up to them to distribute their work and maximize their contribution. It is not only quantity but also quality of work that matters. Tackling the workload problem is a major step towards maintaining quality of the work. While striking the right balance may be tough initially, employees should take workload management seriously as it saves time and money for the company.

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