Biting off more than you can chew – how to manage what’s on your plate

Few managers are immune from the problem of taking on more than they can realistically get through during the day.
The ?to-do’ list, hardly seems to diminish.
Why is this? It’s easy to believe you’re poor time manager, perfectionist maybe, bad delegator, or time waster.
But don’t blame yourself too much, say David Barlow and Ronald Rapee in Mastering Stress – Lifestyle Approach. Taking on more than you can handle doesn’t mean you’re bad worker, in fact you’re probably such an efficient worker it seems natural to assume you can do more.
So how can you manage what’s on your plate
1) Learn to say no and negotiate. Know your limits and don’t limit your no’s. Say ?no’ to extra work when it’s necessary, then negotiate new approach.
2) Let some things go. Apply the Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule. Chances are that if you get 80 percent of the work done, the other 20 percent either will be fine if left undone or can be done by someone else. Don’t obsess over that last 20 percent. It’s generally believed that 80 percent of the work in firm is done by 20 percent of the people. Just don’t always be in that 20 percent. Don’t take on work others are capable of doing. Learn how to decline politely and how to delegate effectively.
3) Become multi tasker. The most successful managers are those who can handle several projects at once. Learn how to develop this approach to managing your workload.

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