Your colleagues will always need something from you. Can you attend this event? Send this document? Create this presentation? On any given day, there are a million things being thrown at you. You say yes to them all because you truly believe they can all be handled, but boy oh boy do the tasks start piling up. Sometimes things are forgotten, emails are missed, and promises of completion aren’t kept. Of course, this is not on purpose but nevertheless, it’s reflects poorly on you when you don’t keep your word. If you say you are going to do something, you have to follow through. That’s where this article comes in handy. We want to give you the tools to regain control of your life. Listed are a few ways to help tackle the day-to-day requests to help you keep your promises.
Reply Promptly. Your inbox is flooded and let’s face it, the thought of even looking through all of those messages from last week is overwhelming. Ignoring it is definitely a possibility, but not a good one. We have all been there. Overwhelmed by the clutter and felt it best to just pretend it’s not there, but this is a destructive habit. If something is important and you know that it requires some additional work or a lengthy response, reply with a quick “Received. I will review and get back to you by end of week”. Respond. Even this simple email acknowledgement can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy work partnership.
Be Concise. Keeping your emails short and brief, when possible, can really free up time and allow for you to cut through your emails at a much faster rate. This method was even been talked about on the Today show! In your shorter emails, make sure to stay on topic and use bullet points if you need to break the message up or highlight important information. Get to the point with no additional fluff; it’s best to be succinct.
Request a Stalker. It’s busy season at work and you seem to have bit off a little more than you can chew. See if a colleague can help keep you on task for an item or two. For example, you’ve finally responded to an email but know that it may get buried once again or pushed to the side. You should then respond to the email and end by saying something to the effect of “My schedule over the next few weeks is quite hectic so if you don’t hear from me within the next 2 weeks, please feel free to contact me again or my colleague Jacob.” This shows that you are serious about wanting to pursue a partnership with them but are realistic and transparent about your upcoming workload.
Just say no. It’s perfectly fine to say no to a few requests. If you’re nearing the point of collapse and you simply cannot take on another task, just say no. To be honest, it’s much more respectful for everyone to be upfront with your “no” in the beginning then if you were to say yes and not deliver. Better to refuse then to jeopardize all of the other projects you’ve already taken on. Steer clear of overextending yourself. It shows that you are mindful of both their time and yours, and respectful of the tasks you’re already assigned to.
Bottom line: Admit that you are human. Noone likes to acknowledge that they aren’t indeed Superman/woman but the fact is, you simply cannot do it all. Make a habit of taking on only what you can realistically handle, it’s not healthy or productive to overburden yourself. Get organized so you can stop disappointing those around you by failing to deliver yet again. Use these steps to be more attentive, more organized, and get balance back in your life.