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How to Deal With a High Volume of Work

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Some employees have heavy workloads that must be completed according to deadlines and company expectations. When handling a cumbersome workload, ask for help so you don't fall behind. Delegate tasks, budget your work hours and strategize ways to remove unnecessary busy work, so you don't waste any time. Handling a heavy workload is all about managing and prioritizing your responsibilities.

Create Manageable Goals

Organize your workload into smaller, manageable tasks, so you don't get overwhelmed by the depth and duration of your assignments. For example, a school teacher should focus on lesson plans, goals and activities for that day or week, rather than trying to finalize lessons for the entire quarter. A billing administrator might focus on invoices one day, payroll the next and financial reports later in the week. Dividing your projects and assignments into smaller manageable tasks and blocking out sufficient time to accomplish those tasks can make your job duties less overwhelming, suggests career contributor, Lisa Quast, at Forbes.

Stay Organized and Focused

Get organized and prioritize your responsibilities. Create electronic or paper files for all your work assignments, so you can quickly locate memos, documents, research and correspondence by project or client. Discuss due dates and deliverables with your manager, so you can better manage your time and focus on top priorities, recommends Quast. Every morning, compose a list of your top work goals for the day and put non-essential, less-critical tasks at the bottom of the list. Avoid multitasking and focus on one task at a time, suggests author and business consultant, Laura Stack, at CNN. Don't clutter your desk; you don't have time to hunt through a mess of papers to find what you need.

Discuss Work Overload with Your Boss

Talk to your manager about your heavy volume of work if you don't think you'll be able to get it done or if the workload is causing undue stress. You don't want your workload to negatively affect your work life or your personal life. Your manager might not realize how much work you have and offer some solutions, suggests career management expert and author, Alison Green, according to "U.S. News and World Report." Some bosses are accommodating and strive to alleviate workload stress by providing backup support, outsourcing and reprioritizing current work responsibilities.

Delegate Work Tasks

Delegate what you don't need to do yourself. Assign subordinates, temporary staff and assistants to administrative responsibilities, such as paperwork, errands, data entry and organizational duties. Make sure the tasks don't require your expertise, so your staff can work independently without constant supervision. Delegate more complex tasks to specialized workers and ensure they have a complete set of instructions, suggests businessman, author and entrepreneur, Harvey Mackay, at Consider posting assignments on an office whiteboard, so workers can mark off completed tasks. That way, you'll stay up to date on what's been accomplished and what still needs to be done.


As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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