Is there a lot of work on your plate? Do you have the feeling that the steady stream of work never stops? Are you stressed out because of this? If you are in this boat, let me assure you. You are not alone. Of late, everyone seems to have the same problem. To be precise, everyone I know. I have known these "everyone I know" for a quite a while now. Probably, it is the mileage on their odometers that has placed them with higher responsibilities that is making the steady stream of work unstoppable. I may be totally wrong. It could also be people trying to cut cost and increase efficiency. But that is not the point of this post. What I want to ask you is a simple question. How do you react to such a situation?
At present day work, this is a very common situation. Since I work with a lot of professional, I have observed a spectrum of reactions. The most popular reaction to the increased workload is the demand to prioritize. This works in almost all situations. The keyword is almost. Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to prioritize. My friend quotes his previous boss, "When I say now, it means yesterday. When I say ASAP, it means now". Eloquent but still difficult to prioritize. Everything is equally important. What happens then? You express your unhappiness. Your colleagues listens to you and your manager motivates you. Sometimes, this works. When this also does not work out, you are demotivated and temper manifests.
Recently, I have seen a different way of reacting to the situation. This was shared by a friend. In this particular incident, the overworked employee called for a meeting. He is present, so are one person representing each of the three levels above him. The overworked employee has a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation comprises 9 slides. He presents it to the audience of three. The slides lists the agenda, his responsibilities and analysis of his tasks depending on his responsibilities along with what is not in his perimeter. The point he was driving was simple. He cannot do all the work. According to the feedback, the presentation was excellent. It seems the overworked employee has really worked hard on the presentation. As to the conclusion of the meeting, my friend was silent.