Some days, the work just keeps piling up, and you reach a point where you’re completely overwhelmed. You start to sweat, and everyone in the office suddenly becomes really annoying. There’s no way you’re going to finish everything by your deadline, and as you eye the clock, you start to sweat. And panic. What are you going to do?
It may seem like a hopeless situation, but in a helpful post for the Daily Muse, editor Erin Greenawald offers “5 Unexpected Ways to Deal When You’re Overwhelmed at Work.” As Greenawald explains, the worst thing you can do is hunker down at your desk and put the proverbial nose to the grindstone. You’ll only burn yourself out. Instead, try doing one of these things:
1. Make a Plan — Before you throw yourself into the giant stack of work, take a few minutes to establish a gameplan. This probably seems counterintuitive, since the one thing you haven’t got is time, but it only takes a few minutes, and it might speed things up in the long run. “Even just writing down what needs to get done and deciding what order you’re going to tackle it in can be pretty powerful,” Greenawald writes. “Why? It takes all the things flying madly around your head and puts them into an actionable list. It makes you stop having to think about how you’re going to do your work, and lets you just think about doing it.”
2. Get Outta the Office — You can’t sit at that desk forever. When you’re feeling super stressed, Greenawald advises, get up and take a walk around the block. Go grab a cup of coffee. Even if you’re only gone for 10 minutes, you’ll come back feeling refreshed.
3. Talk to a Coworker — This one’s tricky, as Greenawald explains. You don’t want to seem whiny or incapable, but by sharing your situation with a coworker, you might get some good tips for getting everything done. After all, we’ve all been there. “And, at the very least, you’ll have someone to cheer you on as you power through your work,” Brown writes.
4. Sleep! — When the hour starts to get late, you have two choices: Fire up the coffee machine or go home and hit the hay. According to Greenawald, you should do the latter. You’ll feel rested in the morning, and you’ll do much better work.
5. Work Over the Weekend — While Greenawald doesn’t advice putting in full days on Saturday and Sunday, she recommends doing at least some work during your days off. “My favorite way to get some work done while still feeling like I got my full share of weekend is by popping in a movie on Sunday night after dinner and spending that time plowing through some of the more mindless tasks on my plate,” she writes. “I’m still somewhat enjoying myself, and I get into work the next morning not feeling totally drowned in tasks.”