Too much to do, and not enough time to do it in?
In today's fast-paced technology landscape, everything from evolving trends to changing algorithms can keep you rushed off your feet, struggling to stay ahead of the latest development in digital transformation.
Even if you love your career, there's a good chance that at some point in 2017, you found yourself feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and over-stressed.
Now that the New Year is here it may be the perfect time to take a step back and ask yourself whether your feelings of frustration are a sign that you're in the wrong role or simply an indication that you need to learn how to manage your time.
The more you understand about the threat of workplace overwhelm, the more you can take productive action to handle it.
1. Plan and Organise Everything
Perhaps the easiest way to stop career demands from getting on top of you is to make sure that you're prepared for almost anything.
While using your precious time for planning can seem counterproductive, it's helpful to put a strategic spin on your scrambled schedule. Whether you need a plan to update your DevOps skills or you need to figure out how to manage your next big project, merely writing things down and deciding which order you're going to approach them in, might be enough to make your life a lot easier.
Prepping your schedule forces you to put things into perspective, and determine exactly what you need to get done today, tomorrow, and this week, as well as which tasks you can delegate elsewhere.
2. Ask for Help When You Need It
In a world where every company seems to be short on technology skills, you might notice that your manager has started to pile more responsibilities on you than you know how to handle.
Remember, it's easy for managers to lose perspective when they have a lot of goals to achieve, and not enough skilled employees to help them reach success.
Telling your boss that you're having problems handling everything you've got on your plate may cause your employer to sit up and take notice of just how much weight you have on your shoulders. Remember, don't just complain about the workload, think about how you might be able to make your own life easier.
For instance, can you delegate less specialist tasks, or improve your productivity with new technology?
3. Take a Break and Escape the Office
Staring at a computer screen for several hours a day can be overwhelming - even for technology experts. If simple lines of code are starting to look like nonsense even to you, this indicates that you need to give yourself, and your brain a break. When stress levels are high, it's hard to concentrate on anything that's happening in your professional environment.
While it's easy to convince yourself that you ‘just’ need to buckle down and push through, the truth is that giving yourself a few minutes of fresh air can help you to accomplish tasks faster, and more accurately than you would if you just kept typing.
Walk around the office, grab a glass of water, or simply stand up and move around for a moment. This will give your mind a chance to reboot itself, then get back to the task at hand.
4. Know When to Say No
Whether you're a systems admin or an IT manager, there's a good chance you're always looking for ways to show off your skills, and demonstrate your value to the organisation you work with.
After all, everyone wants a chance to prove that he or she is worth a higher salary or the opportunity to work on a new project. However, that doesn't mean you can keep piling work onto your to-do list until you burn out.
While the concept of saying "no" to your manager might be enough to fill you with a sense of dread, it's important to remember that you're only human, and he or she understands that fact. If you can give a good reason as to why you can't do something, then they'll probably do what they can to assign the project elsewhere or make the task easier for you to handle.
5. Try Something New
Finally, if no matter how much you ask for help you continuously find yourself feeling stressed and exhausted at work, then you might need to re-think your career path. You could find that a role in IT infrastructure just doesn't work for you, or it may just be that you need to work with a company that shares the same views and expectations as you.
When searching for a new position, remember to keep an eye out for signs of a culture that could fit your working style. There are plenty of review sites available online today, and specialist recruitment agencies that can help you to discover the opportunity that's perfect for you.
About Inspire People
Inspire People is a niche boutique IT recruiter specialising in Business & Digital Transformation, IT Infrastructure and DevOps & Linux, supporting individuals seeking permanent and contract opportunities.
We work in partnership with a diverse range of employers who utilise technology to make a positive impact on society; from service providers to organisations using IT to support life-enhancing scientific research, finding the fit between the individual and the employer.
If you would like to discuss your next career move or are looking to attract the right talent, speak with one of the Inspire People team on +44(0)20 7871 8550 or email hello@