If you're drowning under 3,245 emails – here are 5 steps to get your job and life in order

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It’s entirely normal to occasionally feel overwhelmed by work, our personal life or both. Tasks and deadlines can get away from us and before we know it, we’re lying awake at 2am, fretting about everything we could have done during the day.

That’s how the vicious cycle begins: we spend so much time worrying about what we haven’t done, that we put off upcoming responsibilities to focus on our current predicaments.

Well, it’s time to cut that cycle off at the knees and start fresh. Just pause, reassess and then make plans to get on top of your overflowing workload moving forward.

These steps are a great starting point and much more effective than they initially seem.

List everything

It may sound trivial, but writing down all of your past, present and future tasks is incredibly useful.

Being able to physically see what you need to complete – and adding appropriate deadlines so you can prioritise your time – will free your mind from constantly trying to remember what needs to be done and when.

What you may also find useful is to include your life admin on the same list you use at work. There’s nothing worse than trying to meet deadlines while in the back of your mind, you’re stressing about bills or finding someone to mind your dog when you go on holiday.

Use online tools

Whether you’re working in a team of two or a team of two thousand, there are online management tools that can eliminate the utter frustration of receiving 50 emails through one program, 200 direct messages through another while simultaneously trying to find a Google Doc that turns out to be on Excel.

That scenario alone is enough to turn hair, skin and fingernails grey. Scope out a team management tool like monday.com and go speak to your boss, colleague or business partner. It ties all of the workplace processes together so everything’s just there, in front of you, exactly where you can see it.

And look, if it works for major corporations like Macca’s and NBC, it might just be the key to your start-up’s runaway success. Can’t make any promises, but at least it’s a place to start.

You can sign up for a free trial too, just to test the waters.

Set realistic goals

Have you ever set yourself a budget, realised you’ve gone over said budget and instead of trying to salvage it, you just throw your hands up and spend like it never existed in the first place? Everyone has.

Instead of trying to achieve these almost-impossible feats and constantly falling short, be more realistic about what’s feasible and what’s not.

Start small, and increase your goals as they become more manageable. There’s no point aiming for 150% if you’re only at a 95% capacity.

Make the most of your coworkers

Self-control, or even self-management, doesn’t come easy to everyone, so if you work in a team of two or more, use it to your advantage.

It’s pretty straightforward – if you’re using the online management tools like monday.com, you can put in your tasks and daily responsibilities into a shared space, so others can track what you have to do, too.

This way, you have to answer to your coworkers if something isn’t completed by the necessary deadline, so you’re more likely to become motivated.

It’s easier to disappoint yourself than it is others (for the most part).

Communicate your thoughts

Lastly, just try to be as open as you’re able. If you find yourself feeling completely overwhelmed, there’s no point suffering through it by yourself.

You never know either – by airing your stress out to a different set of ears, you might be given a different perspective you hadn’t previously considered.

Most of your worries have solutions, you just have to take the time to think rationally and avoid that vicious cycle.

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