Skip to content

Feeling Overloaded?

1 min
productivity  ✺  career  ✺  management  ✺  leadership

Here are 5 tips to turn this around - courtesy of Cal Newport:

(#2 is often missed - yet crucial for sustainability)

1. Shed Obligations: Acknowledge that you will not be able to get everything done (at least not at the same time). Make the hard calls and drop what is of lower priority. Communicate the same and apologize where needed. It happens from time to time, don't beat up yourself over it.

2. Stop the Bleeding: Figure out what is broken in your system that is leading to this overload and fix it immediately. This will not only stop the situation from deteriorating, but will also motivate you to address the situation at hand as a one-off knowing you are addressing the situation sustainably.

3. Schedule Work: For what is left to be completed, find and block out chunks of time that will enable you to accomplish these.

4. Have a No List: Create a list of activities you won't do - this helps you automate saying no to these things vs. having to evaluate each such request.

5. Adopt Deferred Yes Strategy: As new requests come in, hold off the immediate (default) yes - and state that you plan you work for the next week on Fridays and will get back to them if it's possible to do it. This also helps set the expectation that you may decline.

For more insights on this topic, I highly recommend this podcast episode:

PS: This topic is covered in the first 33 mins of the episode.