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When it comes to developing workload management skills, we all feel like beginners. Whether it’s school, university or work, there is always going to be a litany of responsibilities, tasks, and people vying for your time and energy.
Workload management skills are useful no matter what stage of life you are in.
The challenge, however, is that they require discipline to maintain and can take plenty of time to master.
In my personal experience, I’ve seen many people run themselves ragged trying to balance their personal lives and careers without dropping the ball.
Given our current preoccupation with mental health, I’ve had a lot of my friends turn to me for advice at dinner parties. The most common question I get is about the best stress management techniques (and it’s great dinner party conversation—always right between exchanging pleasantries about work and rigorous political discussion).
I usually throw a question back at them and say, “Well, how do you feel about workload management skills?”
It’s fun to see people pause and take a moment to think, brows furrowed, and say things like “I try to keep to-do lists and checklists through the week and I tick things off every time I complete something,” or, “I get up at five in the morning, just so I have more time during the day”.
These are all great techniques, but they don’t necessarily constitute workload management skills unless they help you manage your time and schedule in a way that works for you and benefits your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
For instance, checklists and to-do lists can help you keep track of the tasks you need to do but that doesn’t mean you have the right mindset or schedule in place to make sure you achieve them.
As for waking up earlier in the morning, it’s a great way to manage a hectic day, but it’s not effective if you’re not getting enough sleep and you spend the entire day groggy.
When it comes to workload management skills, the goal is to develop a sustainable way to balance your schedule, manage your stress, and enjoy better days.
The first step to workload management is to eliminate its myths
Specifically, the myth of multitasking.
It has often been lauded as a positive balancing act, which is a reflection of the superior confidence and work ethic of the multitasker in question. More recent scientific evidence, however, suggests that the opposite is actually true.
Studies and research at Stanford University reveal that modernity’s non-stop multitasking not only wastes more time than it saves but could also be killing our concentration and creativity.
Focussing on one task at a time will help you boost your productivity and accuracy.
Improve your concentration and transform your workload management skills
When you sharpen your focus and eliminate absentmindedness, you tend to experience an immediate difference in the way you manage your day and your tasks.
Absentmindedness has become a deeply ingrained, subconscious habit for many of us. We usually don’t even notice when we are lost in our own distractions!
Absentmindedness can kill your productivity and make you feel like you haven’t achieved as much as you wanted to during the day. Staying aware and present, while performing even the most menial tasks, can help you train your mind and establish better workload management skills.
Remember, awareness and absentmindedness are mutually exclusive. Practicing mindfulness and making it a part of your routine will help you stay present in each moment—keeping absentmindedness at bay!
Take a break!
That’s right. Take a second to slow down and breathe.
Taking regular breaks during the day can help you recentre yourself and put your best foot forward.
Just five minutes of mindful relaxation between each task can make a world of difference for your focus, mental strength, energy, and performance. A mindful break every few hours can also make a world of a difference.
Not only will your workload seem much more manageable, but you’ll also notice improvements in your overall wellbeing instead of feeling overwhelmed and drained at the end of every day.
How can Awakened Mind help you improve your workload management skills?
Our mindfulness platform has everything you need to explore the powers of mindfulness and develop workload management skills that work for you through our learning resources, guided meditation tracks, and Neurosync™ technology.
Taking small steps, like brief breaks and sharpening your focus, can help you master workload management skills. Learn all about mindful breaks, the best ways to improve your concentration, and so much more by downloading the Awakened Mind app today!