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Managing Your Workload

“Workload” is a term used incessantly by the present generation. Pressurized to do a voluminous work within a limited time, producing excellent results amounts to “workload”.

The explosive economic growth in India for instance, puts pressure on the company and in turn on the individual to deliver results quickly. Therefore, the final onus to manage the workload falls on the employee, as an individual and as a team player.

Workload can be effectively managed by:

• Self assessment; knowing ones capability
• Analyzing the magnitude of the job at hand

Self Assessment

Know yourself: Being able to assess one is a very important aspect in managing oneself.

a. Knowing ones strengths and weaknesses enables one to judge what work can be handled independently by one and what would require the help of others.
b. Being able to assess the quantum of work one can take, gives one the ability to say ‘No’ with confidence. When used judiciously, ‘No’ as an answer can be well taken and even appreciated. This implies that the work which has been taken by the individual will be delivered with excellent quality on time.

It is important to work out the ideal time for doing different types of work. For instance, the ones that require concentration can be done in the morning when one is fresh. The mundane ones can wait for the after lunch period, when one is not as alert. That by itself is no mantra as each individual is different. Some can put in their best during early morning hours, while some are comfortable with late nights. Whatever the case, important jobs must be done when one is at his best

Saying ‘No’ does not imply incompetence. Well meaning individuals often end up in difficult situation or end up being classified as poor performers plainly due to 'biting more than one can chew'. The ability to say 'No' comes from being able to assess oneself and the absolute commitment to quality. It is best not to meet a deadline by delivering work of substandard quality.

Being organized and bringing discipline into ones life is the hallmark of a successful person. Organize your daily agenda well in advance. Build in buffer into your agenda to absorb sudden requests. Ensure that tasks are not allowed to become urgent. Tasks getting urgent mean your house is on fire, indicating that all your effort would be spent on firefighting rather than thinking and improving your status. Discipline can start by simple things, for instance follow an effective filing system to avoid confusions.

Accepting mistakes made is an indicator of self confidence. Skip denials, and have a mindset to realize the folly of making the job messier. Learning from mistakes made and implementing corrective measures to prevent the problem from recurring, improves efficiency and helps in managing workload well.

An executive is only as good as her health. Relaxation and engrossing oneself in hobbies act as a rejuvenator. Relaxing can make a person think better and perform better.

Analyse the job-in-hand

A colossal time-controlled task never seems attractive. So the first step is to analyze the job-in-hand, break it into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each task. Assess the task and on the basis of urgency, prioritize the task, and then identify the key areas which require expertise. If one is working in a team, consult with the team members the flow and activity to be followed so as to meet the deadline. Provide for technical pitfalls during the planning stage. Evaluate the available manpower resources, if needed; provide facilities for training to meet the skills required. Allocate the work wherever possible so as to ensure quality. Performance evaluation must be made at regular intervals to curb fluctuations from the plan and to ensure outstanding results. It also reduces the time spent on identifying and correcting the mistakes.

Managing workload can become an easy task if life is injected with discipline and self awareness.

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