How to Manage a Heavier Workload When Coworkers Leave

When your team loses a member, the excess workload often gets distributed among the remaining members. If the vacancy remains for an extended period, your workload can pile up and become overwhelming.

Fortunately, you do not have to struggle through until a new member is added to your team. There are steps you can take to make your workload more manageable.

The following are five tips to manage a heavier workload when your team loses a member.

1. Plan Your Work

Determine how to approach your work according to your biggest priorities.

  • Make a list of everything you need to do.
  • Clarify each project, its deliverables, and the desired results.
  • Include the length of time needed to complete each task and when it must be finished by.
  • Prioritize your tasks in order of importance.
  • Block out time to complete each task and take regular breaks.
  • Follow your schedule as closely as possible while maintaining flexibility for unexpected events.
  • Complete a task before moving to the next one.
  • Cross off each task when it is finished.
  • Move any unfinished tasks to the following day.

2. Take Breaks

Regularly walk away from your desk for a 5- to 10-minute break. Include a 1-hour lunch each day.

  • Eat healthy foods to maintain energy and alertness.
  • Take a walk, stretch, or meditate.
  • Talk with a coworker who is on break.
  • Letting your brain relax helps maintain focus and engagement.
  • Taking time to rest helps you come back refreshed.

3. Maintain Work-Life Balance

Limit the number of hours you work each day so you can focus on self-care.

  • Spend time each day talking with family or friends or pursuing personal interests.
  • You must take care of your personal needs every day to stay engaged and productive at work.
  • Prioritization of well-being in your personal and professional life increases your overall satisfaction.

4. Reduce Distractions

Do what you can to keep your distractions to a minimum. The longer you are able to focus on your work, the more you can accomplish.

  • Turn off notifications for your phone and email.
  • Let your coworkers know you need quiet time to finish your work.
  • Distractions increase stress and negative moods and lower productivity.

5. Audit Your Time

If you are not completing as much work as expected, find out what you are spending your time on each day.

  • Write three columns on a piece of paper.
  • Title column A “Priority Work,” column B “Good Work,” and column C “Low-Value Work.”
  • In the appropriate column, write down each project or task you work on and the time spent on it.
  • At the end of the week, record the amount of time spent in each column.
  • If you are spending too much time in column C, find ways to devote more time to columns A and B.

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