Please Sir, I want some more … that’s a line from Oliver Twist. But in the non-profit sector it’s nothing for a staff member, no matter the role to be loaded with more and more work.

“Overloaded” appears to be a common response when asking people in the non-profit sector how their day, work or job is going.

Not only are people struggling to juggle their normal workload but also, it seems they are being loaded with more and more tasks to accomplish, often with unrealistic time-frames.

What’s more, often some of the task people are asked to carryout haven’t been fully thought out, vague instructions are given along with unrealistic time-frames.

No one likes additional tasks dumped on them, least of all those that haven’t been thought out. Yet, it seems some in managerial roles feel it’s acceptable to load more and more on staff.

Most people feel they can’t say or do anything about added workloads, but, they can.

How to deal with increased loads:

If there’s too much to handle – acknowledge it. Many people who have increased workloads will try and shoulder it all and attempt to get through everything loaded on them. Sure, it may happen, but only with careful juggling of the tasks assigned to be done.

Are there some tasks you’ve been assigned that don’t need to be done, what would happen if something wasn’t completed right now?

If you aren’t already prioritising your work, now is the time to start.

Simply stick with the simple method of prioritising workload – A, B, C, D etc.

A—urgent and important

B—important but not urgent

C—urgent but not important

D—not urgent or important

There’s only to categories that need attention right now … those items listed as A’s and B’s. The C’s and D’s are the least important, they can wait.

If you’re assigned something new, first ask – is this urgent or important, then add it to the appropriate category. Just because it’s the CEO who gave you something to do doesn’t mean it’s mission critical – the only way of knowing is to ask when first assigned the task.

Now you have your prioritised list, work through them, category by category, don’t try and do two or more things at once, it seldom works out well. Do one thing at a time and do it well.

How are you coping with an increased workload?

What tips or tricks do you use to manager a high number of tasks?

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