Your daily to-do list at work probably consists of things you like to do and tasks you dislike a bit. Do you know which tasks these are? Or how to find a good balance? Read on and find out how you can manage your workload.
Do you suffer from pressure and stress at work? The high absenteeism of late has had a lot to do with illness due to corona. The workload was too high and there were too few people to fill the gaps, resulting in a lot of absenteeism. How can you make sure your workload doesn’t get too high and your to-do list is balanced?
The high absenteeism is partly due to flu waves over the past year, but in the long term, high workload plays an important role, says Boyd Thijssens, president of the Dutch Society for Occupational Health. He explains that the workload in several sectors has been very high for a long time, which can be just the straw for workers who were already ill.
On the one hand, this means that employers should evaluate certain aspects of work and take action to reduce the workload. On the other hand, employees can also take matters into their own hands and take a critical look at their daily tasks. Do these task give them energy or take it away?
Prolonged high workloads can lead to stress, reduced performance and, in the worst case, burnout. To prevent this and find a healthy work balance, it is important to minimise the number of energy guzzlers and make sure you have more energy givers. To do this, we have some tips.
1. Find out what gives you energy and what takes it away
What gives you energy and why? And what costs you energy? The answers to these questions are different for everyone. At Human Insight we test what your energy-givers and energy-guzzlers are by means of the Talent Result Scan. This exercise focuses on questions such as “What are your daily tasks?” and “What gives you energy?”.
Make a list of everything that energises you on a daily basis and the things that take up too much energy. Then think about which drains you want to reduce and which energisers you want to build into your daily routine.
For example, is it important to you not to be addressed by colleagues after working hours? Make this clear. And would you like to make more use of your creativity during work? Discuss this with your employer.
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2. Develop your talents with job crafting
Job crafting involves tinkering with your current job to better match your natural abilities and talents. This way, you make sure your energy-givers and energy-givers at work are more in balance.
Together with your employer, you explore your development opportunities. Fill your job with as many energisers as possible. This way, you don’t have to look for a new job straight away, but you can find a balance within your current job that satisfies both you and your employer.
3. Ensure clear job descriptions
A clear definition of tasks can reduce the workload. Staff thus know what is expected of them and can take concrete steps to achieve goals.
Over time, the result areas may become too far removed from your job, which can cause your energy consumers and energy providers to become unbalanced and your workload to become too high. Consider carefully for each task whether it still belongs to your job or whether it would be better to take on another task and pass it on to a colleague.
The RPA-Cube is an assessment that, among other things, tests whether result areas fit a function and actively contributes to expectation management. It provides insight into the current workload and how you can reduce it.
4. Make a concrete plan to reduce the workload
To make things easier for yourself, try not to tackle all energy givers and energy guzzlers at once. Start with the energy guzzlers that are currently bothering you a lot, and that you can do something about in a relatively simple way.
Also look at your energy givers. How can you gradually create more of these in your daily routine? The more energisers you have, the bigger your ‘buffer’ is to deal with everyday stress. Small steps already make a big difference. Keep repeating this process until you feel a difference.
5. Encourage leadership to reduce workload
Setting priorities and indicating boundaries in time or daring to discuss excessive workload, all responsibilities that lie with the staff themselves.
As a manager, you can encourage your team to engage in personal leadership or some other form of coaching to ensure that people can function better.
Effectively reducing and managing your workload is a process that can take longer. For instance, it is difficult to change ingrained structures and a clear and structured plan needs to be in place when tasks shift from one function to another.
It is therefore advisable to do a periodic check to see how the workload is perceived by staff, but also to understand the status quo.
Learn how to manage your workload and gain insights in the tasks that give you energy and the ones that take your energy away.
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