We’ve all been there—those days (or weeks) when you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, your energy is drained, and your to-do list seems never-ending. In today’s demanding work environment, it’s all too common for people at all levels to suffer from exhaustion, stress and overwhelm. In fact, research shows that more than 35% of people always or often feel this way, which can have personal and career consequences.
The good news is that there are strategies and tips to help you regain your focus, productivity, and overall performance, even when you’re feeling depleted. Here are 10 effective reminders to boost your workplace performance during those challenging times when you’re under pressure to achieve more.
Whether you’re exhausted, stressed or overwhelmed, prioritisation is your lifeline. Identify the most critical or highest-value tasks that align with your goals and your performance metrics and tackle them first. This ensures that you’re investing your energy where it matters most.
Learn to Delegate
Recognise that you don’t have to carry the entire workload. Delegation is a skill that can significantly alleviate overwhelm and overload, at work and at home. Trust your colleagues, team (or family) members to contribute their time and expertise. If you can’t delegate, what can you remove (dump or delay) from your to-do list?
Set Realistic Expectations
Avoid setting yourself (and others) up for disappointment by setting unrealistic expectations. Communicate openly about what you can realistically accomplish within a given time frame, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remember, the 80/20 rule and let go of perfectionism. Good enough is often just that!
Time Management Techniques
Embrace time management techniques such as the Pomodoro method (25 minutes work: 5 minutes break) or time blocking. These approaches help structure your workday into focused intervals and scheduled breaks, enhancing productivity and recharging your energy.
Leverage Your Energy Peak
Pay attention to your natural energy rhythms. Work on challenging tasks during your peak energy periods. If you’re a morning person, tackle the most demanding projects early in the day. Save routine or less demanding tasks for when your energy dips. Take every opportunity to get out of your chair and move your body to give yourself a quick energy boost.
Minimise distractions to maximise your productivity. Turn off non-essential notifications, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, remove clutter, close your door if possible and create a focused work environment. This will help you to concentrate and conserve your limited energy for the tasks at hand.
Define your boundaries clearly, communicate them to colleagues and stick to them. Be cautious about taking on extra work that exceeds your capacity, learn to say no and negotiate options, especially when you’re already feeling overwhelmed or overloaded.
Seek Support and Communicate
When exhaustion, stress or overwhelm become consistent issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager or HR department. They may provide solutions or resources to help manage your workload and alleviate stress.
Elevate your self-care efforts, especially when you’re feeling fatigued. Prioritise adequate sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise. Perhaps seek out complementary wellbeing practices like meditation, Reiki and massage. Self-care acts as a buffer against burnout and helps you recharge. As a leader, be the role model for your team.
Monitor Your Well-Being
Keep a close eye on your health and well-being, particularly for signs of burnout. Apart from fatigue, finding it hard to switch off from work, second-guessing your decisions, constantly worrying about past or upcoming events and poor work life balance are some red flags. Address these symptoms promptly because they tend to exacerbate. Consciously make time for yourself and what you enjoy, take time off or seek support from a coach or counsellor, because when it comes to burnout, prevention is much easier than cure.
Boosting your work performance when feeling exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed, is not only possible but crucial for sustainable success. By prioritising tasks, delegating responsibilities, and setting realistic expectations, you can manage overwhelming workloads more proactively and effectively. Most importantly, never compromise on self-care. Take care of your physical and mental health, and communicate your needs to prevent burnout. By striking a balance between productivity and well-being, you can excel in your career without sacrificing your health or personal life. Remember, your well-being is the foundation of your success at work, and in life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As the CEO and driving force behind Peak Performance International, Linley has dedicated the past 25 years to helping organisations develop peak performing people and cultures. Having worked with thousands of leaders across diverse industries, she understands the challenges faced by high achievers in the corporate arena and the toll it can take. She is now determined to transform how leaders define, pursue, and sustain their success.
In her holistic executive coaching practice, Linley and her team blend their extensive leadership and coaching expertise with the rejuvenating power of popular health and wellbeing practices to help executives feel their best, perform at their peak, and achieve lasting success. Visit https://www.linleywatson.com or book a call to learn more.