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How to cope with a busy work schedule

The mortgage market is seeing everyone really busy. We have gone from a post-pandemic environment full of economic surprises. It keeps us on our toes. So here are some tips to help with a busy workload - or indeed burn out – now or in the future. 1. Know when you are most productive

2. Turn OFF those alerts

3. Work Your To-Do Lists

4. Take regular breaks.

5. Go With The Flow

6. Remember “No”

7. Break the routine 8. Back the meetings together

9. Help Each Other

10. Learn from one another

1. Know when you are most productive

Some of us are better in the mornings. Others in the afternoon. If you are most productive in the mornings, use that time to focus on your most important (or urgent) tasks and leave it free of meetings; keep meetings for the afternoon. 2. Turn OFF those alerts In the time you are most productive, TURN OFF all alerts. Yes, those WhatsApp pings and social media alerts. Stay away from your email too. Focus. Focus. Focus.

3. Work Your Work Lists

Psychologically, it is really satisfying to cross off those tasks from your to-do list. Tip: Write your daily task lists at the end of the day – ready for the next day. It will save you a bit of time. Do the same for weekly lists - write it on the Friday afternoon, ready for Monday morning. Put these tasks into your calendar – as your calendar is not just for meetings.

Then the key is – which task to tackle first. Most start at the top of the list and work down. Don’t do this. Instead know which tasks are most IMPORTANT to deliver. These will be those aligned to your goals. Think about which are most URGENT too, get them done.

Ranking your tasks will ensure that you tackle the most important work first and can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Bump adds that you should notify your cross-functional teams once you've launched the form and how you would like them to use it. You can inform them via email, Slack, or even an internal blog post that can be easily bookmarked or referenced.

4. Take regular breaks

This is probably hardest to implement but probably the most important. If your mind is not fresh and alert, you will be less effective and take longer on tasks. Take a break. Often. I often get a slump at 2pm. If I try and push through it, which I can, it does not help. So, I take a break. And get a second wind to sail through the rest of the day.

So, take a break. Go for a quick walk. Make a drink. Listen to some music. Re-energise.

5. Go With The Flow

Some days just don’t go to plan. That is normal. Not every day will work out exactly as planned, and that's OK.

Therefore, when planning your day, allow some slack. Allow for the unexpected – like a change to a product!! Don’t fill your day with tasks, be realistic and allow 20% of your time to be able to react.

6. Remember “No”

I once shared this advice to an old team I was leading. Some took it too literally and said “no” to every new task request!! Others used it wisely and would challenge requests from the business (and me) by determining their real importance and alignment to business and personal goals. Don’t be afraid to push back. But do so with confidence and purpose.

7. Break the routine Some people will tell you that routines are good for us, as we are creatures of habit. By having a consistent routine makes us more productive. Not in Marketing. Routines kill creative thinking. It will make you less effective. A change is as good as a rest, so move those meetings that are always in the diary for 11am every Wednesday. Work from home on different days. Go to work a different route. It all helps. Break the routine. Stay fresh.

8. Back the meetings together

Some people really hate back to back meetings. But, this is better than having them spread out, because doing work in between can be difficult and not completed as you get out of that groove and may even forget what you were doing!! Combining with point one above, try hard to have sufficient time to work, free of meetings. Ever have meetings spread out throughout the day? Doing work in between those can seem impossible.

9. Help Each Other

A lot of time management challenges come from relying – and waiting on others. If you rely on others to “get back to you”, set a REALISTIC time and date for that reply. If you are the person being waited for, be empathetic. Stick to your promise but if you can’t, let the other person know so there is no chasing (as chasing wastes so much time). Right now there has never been such a need for effective team commutations.

10. Learn from one another

Finally, talk to others. Your challenges are shared by others. It is good to talk.

Time is precious. Use it wisely.

"Time is what prevents everything happening at once" Albert Einstein


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