When you are feeling overwhelmed at work, it can be tempting to just try and plow through your workload to get it finished. Unfortunately, trying to cope with a heavy workload by working until your brain stops will just lead to showing signs of burnout. Sometimes, the feeling of being overloaded could be a result of stress and nothing to do with your actual workload.
What can you do when you feel that you have too much on your plate to cope with? In this article, you will learn secrets to coping with the feeling of being overwhelmed at work. Learning coping strategies will not only help you avoid the impact of chronic stress but will help you be more productive.
The demands of employers, pressure to meet deadlines, or having many responsibilities can place a toll on your mental health.
The need to deal with feeling overwhelmed at work was highlighted in a 2017 survey from the United Kingdom.
The survey of over 4,600 adults found that nearly three-quarters of adults were so stressed that they felt overwhelmed. High levels of stress that make people feel as if they can’t cope can also cause anxiety and depression. In fact, over 30% of respondents said they had suicidal thoughts due to chronic stress.
Some signs of being under too much pressure at work can include:
What can you do if you are feeling overwhelmed and at breaking point at work? Here are some strategies to cope with feeling stressed out in the workplace.
Knowing how to manage your time can be the first step to overcoming feelings of being under too much pressure. There are many secrets to managing your time better. For example, having a to-do list can help to set priorities. Not trying to multitask and setting reasonable deadlines can all help to prevent feeling overwhelmed.
It is also important to schedule appropriate time off and take regular breaks during the day. Even a 10-minute break every hour or so can do wonders to “recharge your batteries” and prevent you from feeling rundown.
Another secret to avoid becoming overwhelmed at work is to learn when to refuse to take on extra tasks or responsibilities. Sometimes, the fear of losing work or upsetting your boss can make you accept any work that comes your way. However, taking on too much work will not only affect your productivity but also impact on the quality of your work.
You may feel overwhelmed because of your work if you are working to unrealistic or unreasonable expectations. Of course, being a perfectionist can create unnecessary stress that can overwhelm you.
However, it is also important to check your assumptions about what others expect from you. For example, you may not need to immediately reply to every email immediately. Or, a deadline on a project may be flexible and it could be possible to extend it. Also, rather than assuming that your boss needs something done immediately, you could ask when they need the task finished.
You should also establish reasonable expectations about when colleagues can contact you outside of work hours.
When you feel that you have so much to do that your head is spinning, search out a trusted colleague to talk it out. Sometimes, just speaking about your feelings can help to alleviate much of the stress. Or, it could be that your co-worker has some good ideas on how to get the tasks finished more effectively.
Of course, if your boss is pilling up too much work on your desk, then discussing your situation is the best option.
One of the best ways of coping with the feeling that work is getting on top of you is to get proper rest. It can seem counterintuitive to take time out when you have got so much to do. However, working late into the evening or over the weekend to get work finished will only deplete your mental and physical resources.
You may start turning to junk food to help get you through, rely on coffee to keep you awake or stop your exercise regime. These habits will actually exacerbate your feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s at times of intense work when you have to care for your mental and physical wellbeing to prevent being overwhelmed at work.