Time management skills

There are certain times of the year where work seems never-ending and it can be a stressful time. Whether limited resources have left your team short staffed, or you’re filling in for other colleagues, you may find that your to-do list is spiralling out of control. Here are some tips for managing the extra pressure:

Get on the same page

Touch base with your boss to ensure the projects you’re working on align with his or her priorities. You may find, for example, that some of the assignments on your plate can be moved to the back burner. At the same time, you can talk to your manager about the resources you need to complete the most pressing tasks.

Try teamwork

Seek input from coworkers on the best course of action when you are confronted with a difficult or unknown situation. Having trouble creating a macro in Excel? Chances are, someone on the team has the experience to help you out, saving you time and frustration.

Focus on solutions

Direct your energy toward situations where you can affect the outcome, and don’t spend time fretting about what you cannot control. You may not be able to move a tight deadline, for instance, but you can ask your supervisor to take a project off your plate, at least temporarily, so you can tackle the immediate need.

Be prepared

Use downtime in between projects to prepare for the next spike. Organise your files and determine what resources you might need going forward. This will increase your efficiency and allow you to be more productive.

Take a time-out

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by even small setbacks when you’re juggling a multitude of tasks. If you’re under fire, step back before you react so you can quickly assess the situation and come up with an action plan.

Tight deadlines and large workloads can bring out the best or worst in people. Use the tips above to demonstrate your grace under fire and show your boss you can tackle any challenge that comes your way. Are you under pressure at work right now? Read our 'Workload overload' article with tips on knowing when and how to ask for help at work.