Why are more people feeling overwhelmed at work?

It is not just the hours we work, but also the fact that we spend too many hours juggling too many things ate the same time. It is a simple consequence of splitting your attention, so that you partially engaged in multiple activities but rarely fully engaged in any one. In part, it is because when you switch away from primary task, you are increasing the time it takes to finish that task.

You are always doing something, and burning down your available energy, so you have less available with every passing hour.

I know this from my own experience I get two times as much work accomplished when I focus without interruption for a designated period.

Consider these three behaviors for yourself:

1. Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, with a clear start and stop time. Finally, resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you will be. When you are done, take at least a few minutes to renew.

2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. If you do not, you will constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent. Also, find a different environment in which to do this activity — preferably one that is relaxed and conducive to open-ended thinking.

3. Take real and regular vacations. Regular means several times a year if possible, even if some are only two or three days added to a weekend. The research strongly suggests that you will be far healthier if you take all of your vacation time, and more productive overall.

A single principle lies at the heart of all these suggestions. When you engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods. When you are renewing, truly renew. Make waves. Stop living your life in the gray zone.


Filed under: General

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