In general, everyday life gets thrown at us unexpectedly, and we need to handle this when it happens, which in some cases can be exciting and fun. Although it can become a more significant issue when not appropriately managed, this also applies to our working lives.
Why? Because when people commit to delivering an extra piece of work or help with an issue on top of their current role that has deadlines, it can get a bit too much and cause you to be unprepared and get flustered.
That's not a recipe for success. Not for yourself, and not for the company or team either. We've all heard the saying "bitten off more than you can chew" same goes for work. To prepare for the unexpected workload you'll need a more proactive process, here are some ideas :
1. Change your 'Yes' to a 'Let me check and get back to you.'
Saying no is super hard. While practice helps, it's simply hard to say no, don't beat yourself up about it. Instead, change you're "Yeah, no problem" and replace it with a response that allows you to take a couple of minutes to take stock and formulate a thoughtful response. Remember you're busy too.
2. Estimate the workload
Take a couple of seconds to estimate how much time you think this task will take. Block off time in your calendar for assignments. Try and estimate a time that is comfortable for you; overestimating rather than underestimating your time is critical here.
3. No Deadline Given?
Don't assume when your boss or supervisors ask for a task done, you should do it there and then as it feels urgent because they are asking, But often, it's not. We assume it is. So, the first thing you should do is change your assumption.
If there's no specific deadline attached, assume that the implicit question is: When can you do this for me? Maybe don't ask your bosses for a deadline but propose one. I'll review my calendar, and let's say, based on my estimation, that I can tackle the request comfortably the next day.
We're all busy. Don't let the endless unexpected things tell you that it's useless to set your priorities. Instead, use the helpful tips to manage the unexpected like a pro.