When you don't have enough time to do it all

“Unnatural work produces too much stress” – Bhagavad Gita

A familiar theme for middle and senior managers is a feeling of not having enough hours in the day to get everything done. The sentiment is exasperated even more when their manager above or direct reports aren’t helping much or supportive. The result is stress, poor sleep and a lack of enjoyment in the job. What do you do when you don’t have enough time to do it all?

Most modern workers are unable to cope with the demands of their job. A Deloitte Human Capital Trends Study found a staggering 66% of employees feel overwhelmed. What’s more, 48% of workers are stressed due to unrealistic workload expectations.

Working longer hours is an approach people try when there’s more work than the hours available. While that might alleviate the situation some in the short term, it’s likely it won’t really help in the long term because working longer hours isn’t scalable or sustainable.

A big mistake people make when there’s not enough time to do it all is they don’t prioritise family or self-care. These are more important than everything else because we’re not successful at work when we’re unhappy or our personal life is in chaos.

Proactive strategies and action are necessary when work’s challenging. To get control consider:

1.  Have absolute clarity on what determines success in your role

Focus only on the important activities and criteria that you and only you can do. It’s hard to have real clarity when you’re overwhelmed due to the volume of work.

2.  Eliminate anything that’s not important

Don’t do it if it contradicts Point 1. How much time is wasted each week due to urgent low importance items, unnecessary meetings and the level of interruptions?

3.  Develop a culture of productivity

To drive focus and results on what matters, ensure your own personal and your team’s productivity are maximised. Don’t assume that just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you and your team are productive.

If you haven’t truly explored improving your situation and performance then don’t be another statistic of perceived unfavourable work conditions. Focused improvement could reduce stress and unlock sufficient time to do all you desire professionally and personally.