Drowning in Work

Is your to-do list turning into a to-do document? Are your unchecked voicemails and emails amounting to an all-day task? Does it seem like you’re being pulled in a million different directions? Relax. You are not alone. Many of us get overwhelmed from time to time. So, how do you knock that mountain of work down to a manageable size? Here are some tips that always help me cope:

Get organized
Start by prioritizing what tasks need immediate attention. It may seem daunting, but making a task list is key. If you have access to scheduling or project management software—like Podio—you can use that to break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. Once you’ve got all your tasks in a row, you can start tackling them one by one.

Be realistic
You are only human. Be honest with yourself and don’t over promise. Most clients and colleagues can relate to having a lot on their plates, so be upfront with what they can expect from you. If you are already spread thin, minimize your commitments or scale back on the ones you already have. This may mean turning down lunch meetings or opting out of employee committees until you are able to handle the additional responsibility.  

Ask for help
Before you burn out, get some help. If deadlines are quickly approaching and inflexible, ask your colleagues and/or supervisor to help out. This may mean hiring some temporary help or shifting some of your responsibilities to others. Find ways to get the job done without dropping the ball.

Now that you know what to do, get to work and pull yourself out of the trenches. I’ll see you on the other side!

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’d love to hear your tips.

 

Baby boomer

Baby Boomers in the Workforce – What’s Next?

I recently blogged about the Truth about Millennials in the Workforce. I hope that I displaced some of your misconceptions and offered you a new perspective on this misunderstood generation. Now let’s take a look at baby boomers and what lies ahead for this group of workers.

The U.S. Census defines baby boomers as people born during the Post–World War II era between 1946 and 1964. For boomers like myself, our careers are likely winding down. We’re thinking about retirement. Yet, many baby boomers are choosing to stay in the workforce. About 35 percent of workers continue to work past the age of 65. The reasons for staying employed vary—from financial need to wanting to work.

There is also a concerted effort by employers to keep skilled professionals in the workforce, creating more of a phased approach for the exit of those within retirement age. Businesses are trying to Stave off the Brain Drain, because there are not as many qualified professionals ready to assume the positions of those retiring. Companies are creating flexible work hours, additional benefits and more opportunities for those reaching retirement. Anything to keep older workers engaged so they can train and mentor younger employees.

However, this trend will surely have a ripple effect down the road. The prolonged rate at which people are retiring will certainly impact opportunities for younger generations, who will now have to wait longer to gain seniority.

But what I find most interesting is some of the commonalities between the two generational spectrums—millennials and baby boomers. While the millennials make demands for life/work balance and company authenticity, baby boomers are looking for much of the same. I think both groups can find common ground on many things, learn from one another’s experiences and work together to create a more skilled and happier workforce.

Are you baby boomer who is choosing to retire later? What would be your advice to millennials and vice versa? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Kick Back and Relax Y’all!

In one of my first blog posts, I wrote about the importance of working hard and playing hard. I spoke about the importance of making time for you. So I took my own advice and headed to Montana, where I had the opportunity to completely unplug. It was absolutely invigorating. I enjoyed some of the most beautiful scenery while horseback riding, ate exquisite food and spent some much needed down time with my lovely wife. Ultimately, I returned to work with a clear head and recharged.

Whether your travel plans include Montana or Miami or your own backyard, you need to take the opportunity to unwind from the work grind. Not only can a vacation (or staycation) reinvigorate you mentally but it can help you physically too. A study of 13,000 middle-aged men at risk for heart disease revealed those who skipped vacations for five consecutive years were 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least one week off each year.

Who wouldn’t want to take time off? It’s not just workaholics. According to this article by the Huffington Post, many workers are actually afraid to take time off. Whether the fear is self-imposed or part of your employer’s culture, you need to take the initiative, not make excuses and take your PTO.

Remember, Labor Day was established for everyone in the workforce. So kick back, relax and enjoy your holiday.

A New Years Resolution Worth Keeping – Work Less, Play More

Every year at this time most of us put together a lengthy list of resolutions, some highly attainable but many far from our reach. Why do we do this? For good reason, we all desire to be and have more, that’s basic human nature. There is one resolution however that I would like to challenge you all to keep – Working Less and Playing More. I know this seems ironic coming from a man who places professionals in technology – one of the most highly competitive and fast-paced fields out there. But I do believe that if you work smarter and set attainable goals, you can make working less a reality. Being in sales, goals are set and met every day. Yet the most successful individuals I have seen in sales, set personal goals to inspire their sales goals. A lot of these goals have nothing to do with the “job.” For one of my clients, it is about taking a day off to have a special outing with her 16-year old daughter. For others it may be  a round of golf, a noon time yoga class, a long lunch with a close friend. What I can assure you is these little gifts to yourself will refuel you and inspire amazing performance. I am going to resolve to work less and play more this year and I look forward to reporting back to you with my success.

I’d love to hear what you inspires you and how you’ve achieved working less and playing more! Share your ideas and thoughts in the comment below.