How to quantify your workload

#5 The managing overwhelm series

We are in overwhelm. That is clear for two-thirds of Australians. Last week I wrote about the difference between our attention and intention. I finished with the challenge of being clear on where your time and attention goes. If you want to start understanding;

  1. Whether your workload matches your capacity
  2. Clarity on how to quantify that with your leaders and key stakeholders

Otherwise, you will be trapped in opinion-based conversations – with others and especially with yourself. Both unhelpful.

To start with we can think about the cost/effort of working on our business-as-usual work and other projects. This is made up of:

  • The labour hours of you and your team, if you lead one. Get the hours written down, by week, or month, on average.
  • Length of time. Add how long this will continue for? Weekly, monthly or does it have a finite date.
  • Dollars spent. How much will this cost? You can add your labour hours x time x salaries of those involved. Do you need extra tech, new products, production tools? Anything for you to be able to deliver. 
  • Budget allocated. Are you able to keep this within the allocated amount or will you need extra. Is this possible?
  • Scale of complexity. The more complex the longer it will take. Ever designed and built a house? Who ever came in on budget and time? I rest my case. Give itis a complexity ‘score’. Create your own complexity scale. 
  • Expertise and experience. Do we have the people in house or does this require us to bring in others? That will cost us. Not just money but time briefing and working with them to give them what they need.
  • Energy and mental load. We can’t underestimate the importance of this. Our mojo has an impact. You can even quantify this quite simply. But it’s part of the conversation.

When we come to others with these considerations the conversations are useful. They are data driven. Not emotions driven. This is when you will have a more powerful picture and voice. To negotiate what you should and shouldn’t be working on. And get clear on what’s most important, now.

Next week we will look at the benefit/value of where we spend our time. These combined are powerful conversations.

Are you feeling overwhelmed at work right now? Do you want practical solutions to get some clarity and reduce the stress?

Come to my workshop on ‘Taming the chaos: Mastering overwhelm in the workplace’. Check it out and register here.