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7 Tips For Managing An Overwhelming Schedule

October 17, 2017

Think back on your life, when was the time you were the busiest? For some, it would have been at school, trying to balance classes, papers, readings, maybe a sports teams, and the occasional social event. For others, it might be a certain job that seemed to take up all their time as they tried to climb the corporate ladder. Or maybe right now is when you’re the busiest. There will inevitably a time in your life when you are run off your feet with things to do. It can last for a week or it can last for years. It can come as a surprise or it can be an annual occurrence. Whatever the case, in order to get through these periods in one piece, you need to know how to manage your time. You might think you know how but when these situations arise and you’re caught off-guard it can be quite a challenging situation. Don’t let your schedule push your around, follow these time management tips.


When met with such an overwhelming list of tasks, it can be tempting to just deal with each task as they come. While that might work for the rare situation, in many cases, you’ll find yourself wasting time on menial tasks instead of dealing with the more important stuff. To help avoid such problems, prioritize your work in a way that addresses the most important to-do first and then work your way down to the things that aren’t as pressing. Having those big jobs out of the way will give you some breathing room which is very much needed in situations like this.

Be realistic.

There are only so many seconds in the day and at some point the tasks you have on your plate will overflow to a point where you finally have to acknowledge you can’t do it all. It’s your responsibility to recognize how much you can take on and how much is realistic. The work won’t stop just because you can’t fit it in to your schedule, but being truthful about what came be done will at least allow for some necessary help or shifting of the workloads. This isn’t something you need to feel guilty about, it’s just using common sense. In fact, if you are taking on more than you know you can handle, you’re being irresponsible in your job.


I know, when you have a million different things to do all at once, the last thing you want to do is sit down and organize. However, taking a few minutes to look at the situation and formulate an attack plan will save you a whole lot of time in the end. Start each morning by going over what needs to be done in that day and set blocks of time in which you can tackle each task. Make a daily schedule and stick to it. This will help you know where you stand at the end of every day and avoid you overbooking yourself. This isn’t to say you won’t need to improvise adapt to new situations every now and then, but it will start you off in the right direction.


In the same vain as admitting when the things on your to-do list have reached an unrealistic point, you also have to be willing to ask for help. Some people avoid this, thinking it’s not fair to pass off their work on to other people, but it’s best to look at it more like sharing. An office is a place that should inspire teamwork and collaboration, and a big part of teamwork is helping out those who need help. When your workload becomes too much for one person to handle, it must then be shared with someone who has less on their plate. It’s fair, it’s necessary and it’s how a team works.

Don’t overdo it.

Being a strong, focused and hard-working professional will get you very far in both career and in life. But sometimes that attitude doesn’t know when it’s time for a break. In these busy periods of work and life, such people tell themselves to push it harder and get the work done. Again, that’s a good instinct to have in most cases. But sometimes pushing yourself harder isn’t as beneficial as you might think. When your schedule is full, when you’ve been working hard and moving forward, there is a point where you need to let yourself step away for a bit and recalibrate yourself. Overdoing it just leads to being tired, which leads to mistakes which leads to more work. Know your limit and let yourself have the occasional respite.

Make sacrifices.

A work-life balance is important, but there are moments where one most come before the other. When you have these overwhelming work periods, it’s inevitable that they are going to spill over into the personal side of your life every now and then. While it may not be fun and it might seem like you’re owed your own free time, you also need to be able to make those small sacrifices in order to get the work done. We all have to do it, so while it might not seem fair, it is in fact quite normal. Get your schedule under control by skipping a few after-work activities and then have your free time back to yourself.

Don’t neglect important things.

Of course, just because the occasional sacrifice must be made doesn’t mean that you have to forget what is important. In both work and life, you need to make priorities and stick with them. You know what things can be brushed aside for the moment and what needs to be addressed now. This goes for family and your life outside the office just as much as it does for your career.

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