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How to deal with an overwhelming workload


When you find that your time is being divided between too many tasks, the associated problems can quickly escalate and put the success of your business at risk.

Not only can trying to do too much too quickly adversely impact the quality of your work and decision-making, it can also affect customer satisfaction, staff morale and productivity.

So, it’s essential that you are always conscious of your workload and take the appropriate steps to manage it.

Here is a five-step process of what to do should you find your resources are being stretched.

1. Slow down

When you’re rushed off your feet slowing down may sound like the most unproductive thing to do, but actually it could help refocus your brain and improve your productivity.

It will help to ensure that the work you are doing is completed to a satisfactory level rather than being rushed and inadequate.

And, by forcing yourself to slow down, it will give you a chance to rest and rejuvenate so that you can look at the following steps with a fresh perspective.

2. Prioritise

Now that you’ve taken a pause and can see the situation clearly, write a list of everything that needs to be accomplished. Then prioritise which tasks need to completed first.

High priority tasks could be those with absolute deadlines approaching. But the most important tasks will be those that are vital for your business’s success.

When your time is stretched and it’s clear that not everything will get done, you need to be tough to eliminate unnecessary activities and move those that will add the most value to the top of the pile.

3. Delegate

Whilst business owners may be hesitant to delegate jobs, it is a vital process to ensure that all essential tasks are completed effectively.

First, choose which tasks you are willing to delegate and then pick the best person to delegate to. It’s important that you trust the person you choose and give them responsibility as well as the task.

You should give clear instructions and a deadline and then implement a follow-up system to ensure that progress is made in the given timescales.

4. Outsource

If you do not have the time to cope with certain tasks, or the required skills in-house, it could be beneficial to outsource them instead.

By outsourcing key business tasks such as accounting, credit control and printing, you can access expertise that will improve results whilst regaining the time to focus on other business activities.

It could also be more cost-effective, as you will agree to a fee for the service rather than paying staff and the overheads that go beyond their basic salary, such as holidays, sickness and maternity/paternity pay.

For more on outsourcing, take a look at these reasons, risks and rewards. Whilst they are focused on credit control the key factors can be applied to outsourcing any business task.

5. Take stock

Once you have regained control of the situation it’s vital that you reflect on how your time became so stretched and work out what you could do in the future to avoid this happening again.

Maybe you took on more work than you or your business could cope with. Maybe an employee left, leaving you having to pick up the slack. Or maybe you didn’t have the necessary skillset to effectively complete the task.

Whatever the reason, by learning from your past mistakes you can implement new procedures that will stop you feeling stretched in the future.

If credit management is stretching your resources you could benefit from our outsourced credit control service. Contact us today on 0800 9774848 or email collections@hiltonbaird.co.uk to see what we could do for your business.


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