What to do when you are overworked

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do your work days seem way too short to accomplish all of your tasks?  As the load increases but time is limited, one is forced to stay late in the office, accumulating over time to cope with the inordinate amount of work required. What to do when you are overworked on a project?

In 2016, the Parlons travail survey, carried out by the CFDT among more than 200,000 people, reveals that just over half of the employees questioned considered that they had an excessive amount of work. It appears that beyond 39 hours per week, it is more difficult to reconcile personal and professional life.

As the saying goes: work is health. We spend a significant part of our life at work, so we should not overlook its impact on our health.

What is overwork?

Work overload is defined as a higher than normal load. The successive departure of several employees will increase the workload on the remaining employees pending the recruitment of new employees.

The risks of overwork

A company must adjust its workforce to its production or service requirements. Overwork can have adverse effects on the business and its employees. There are two types of risk involved:

  • individual: they affect the health and well-being of employees;

  • collective: they concern about the quality of service and the performance of the company.

In the event of an excessive workload, the health and well-being of employees will deteriorate and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) appear, especially when the body does not benefit from sufficient recovery time. 

  • Biomechanical factors such as repetitiveness of movements, excessive efforts, extreme postures, and articular angles, ergonomics of the workstation;

  • Organizational factors, related to the organization and the working environment;

  • Psychosocial factors, i.e. the way in which employees perceive their work, such as lack of autonomy, the monotony of tasks, lack of recognition or job insecurity.

Stress and pressure caused by excessive workload also play a role in the onset of MSDs.

How to manage the work overload?

First, you need to understand and find the source of this overwork. Sometimes an excessive workload is caused by mistakes you make, mismanagement of your time, or an organizational problem.

Find out which things are wasting your time and how to improve your productivity.

If you’re not responsible for your work overload, here are some techniques to help you overcome it.

List and prioritize your tasks

Take the time to list all your tasks, then organize them in order of priority. The tasks that should be at the top of your list are both urgent and important. You can use the Eisenhower matrix to prioritize your tasks, or classify them with letters (from A which means “very important” to C for “not important”).

Keep all the secondary tasks, those that do not directly concern your project or that can wait, for later, when you have set the priority tasks and you are no longer available.

Control your emotions

Under stress and pressure, some people tend to panic and let themselves be overcome by a wave of negative emotions, repeating to themselves “I’m not going to make it”.

It is impossible to deal with this kind of situation being emotional or you risk making careless mistakes. Rather, you need to analyze the situation calmly in order to provide a thoughtful and responsive response.

Mobilize your team

In the event of work overload, your entire team should be on deck. Inform your employees of the situation, if they have not already noticed it for themselves. Each team member should know what to do. Everyone should put aside secondary tasks and focus on urgent and important tasks. Those who complete their tasks faster must come to the aid of their colleagues.

Eliminate unnecessary stains

An excessive workload does not mean that all the tasks at hand are very important or contribute to the progress of your project. Sort through your tasks and don’t hesitate to eliminate those that are unnecessary or that do not allow you to achieve your goals.

Recruit manpower

If after analyzing the situation, you realize that it is not a problem related to the team or the organization, but rather a lack of manpower, do not hesitate to recruit. Interim, self-employed or self-employed, call on qualified outside personnel, temporarily or permanently, to relieve your team and overcome the tasks and the backlog that accumulate.

In conclusion

In the event of a work overload, it is important to communicate and talk to your manager and colleagues in order to get support and help. Don’t isolate yourself and don’t try to cope on your own.

Follow these 5 techniques to overcome the work overload you are facing and thus avoid deteriorating your health due to the pressure and stress generated by this difficult situation.

By Admon

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