The GoSmartHR Blog

The other side of delegation

DelegationThere are loads of productivity blogs available to learn from.  Many of these are aimed at business leaders who have the ability to delegate.  If you are an employee who is on the receiving end of delegation, you also need some coping strategies to avoid taking on too much.

Well, here’s a post specifically designed for you to teach you how to say no, deal with conflict and avoid awkward situations that may rise while you are sticking up for yourself. We are fully aware that these blogs may seem out of context – I mean how do we go from sub-ledger reconciliation to conflict resolution? Maybe we are onto something here – reconciling the general ledger to the sub ledger is about resolving an inconsistency and reconciling. We have simply extended this into a metaphor for productivity reconciliation.

Having too much on your plate isn’t something that happens overnight and becoming overwhelmed with workload is a gradual process that you only notice when it’s too late. Detect the warning signs early and you may be able to manage your stress levels, confront your employer in time and be more productive to handle your workload effectively.

Signs you are taking on too much:

  1. You have trouble focusing.
  2. You can’t bear to face your email or answer another phone call from your employer.
  3. You’re unable to sleep due to stress.
  4. You have no idea what tasks to start with.
  5. Your social life has taken a backseat.
  6. You can’t see a way out of the piles of work you’re hiding under.

How to deal with the workload

Sometimes you need to slay that dragon, eat that frog or climb the mountain – either way, whichever idiom you choose to use, the job needs to get done. There are a couple things you could do to effectively deal with your workload:

  1. Download some fantastic productivity apps that will help you keep track of tasks, minimise distractions, organise project activities and help you stick to goals. We would suggest looking into: Omnifocus, Streaks, Cold Turkey, Freedom,, Rescue Time, Checkmark, Priorities or Day One.
  2. Identify why your workload is as big as it is. You may be distracted easily and therefore need to identify whether your distractors are due to your emotions, physical surroundings or psychological noise. Once you have identified what distracts you the most, you can work on minimising them.
  3. Try this 5-step productivity hack created by HAN-GWON LUNG:
    • Write down no more than 6 important things you need to accomplish for the following day.
    • Adequately arrange these tasks according to importance and priority.
    • The next day, start and complete the first task on your list before moving on to the next.
    • Move any uncompleted tasks to the next day.
    • Repeat this every day.

Dealing with confrontation

Perhaps there really is an issue or misunderstanding of the workload you are receiving and the type of outcomes expected of you. It may be time to sidebar your employer/delegator and have a friendly conversation.

Before you start confronting your employer/delegator, read this beautiful little extract from the Mindfulness Journal.

Conflict resolution strategies:

  1. Avoid: this is a lose-lose approach where your employer is none the wiser of the stress you’re under and is unable to attribute any reason to your poor work ethic and performance. You, on the other hand stay stuck in the same overworked state without addressing the issues.
  2. Compromise: this is a lose-lose approach where you and your employer have to give up something in order to reach an agreement. For example, your employer may offer to reduce your workload and along with that, your paycheck.
  3. Accommodate: this is a lose-win approach where one of you sacrifice something and the other benefits. Your employer may reduce your workload, pay you the same amount and take the risk of delayed deadlines
  4. Collaborate: this is a win-win approach where you work together to find a solution that suits the both of you where each of you benefits. Perhaps your employer offers to compensate you in a way that motivates you to want to do the work.

We hope this blog has given you some insight into how to reconcile your work life and help you achieve balance.

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