The hectic pace of work life is taking its toll on managers. In today’s business environment, where teams are spread out and customers demand round-the-clock service, managers are in unprecedented demand. Pity the modern manager — they are stretched thin and overloaded, their workdays are long, and their energy and enthusiasm are being drained by the relentless pace of work. In this article, we explore how managers can stay focused and motivated even when life in the corner office is hard.
1. The Plight of the Overwhelmed Manager
Being a manager is often an unenviable task. Taking responsibility for the success and failure of your team, as well as your own, can be an overwhelming undertaking. Here are a few of the common issues faced by the struggling manager:
- Prioritizing: Striking a balance between making sure everything gets done and distributing the right level of attention across essential items can be a daunting prospect.
- Time Constraints: Juggling the needs of the team and the wider organization can leave little time for yourself.
- Managing Differing Views: Keeping the team individually motivated, while ensuring everyone is working towards the same goals, can be a real challenge.
Those in management positions must have the skills to anticipate and respond to changing circumstances. With endless tasks competing for attention, being able to identify and deal with the most pressing needs should be a priority. A confident manager should be able to make decisions with taste and foresight.
2. The Stress of Working on Too Much
Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with work, unable to cope with the mounting stress of it all? You’re not alone. Research has found that the average person takes on more tasks than they can realistically handle, leading to sustained levels of stress over long periods of time.
In this age of digital connectivity, it’s easier than ever to overcommit ourselves. We try to be “all things to all people”, racheting up the demands on our already packed schedules. We end up having to put in long hours at the detriment of our personal lives, fueling resentment and frustration. Here are some of the telltale signs of taking on too much:
- Lack of motivation – you may feel sapped of your desire to complete even the smallest of tasks.
- Insomnia – you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep due to racing thoughts.
- Poor concentration – with too many plates spinning at once, it’s hard to focus on any one task.
It’s important to find balance in your workload. Making sure that you have time to take care of yourself and your relationships, will go a long way towards helping you manage stress. So go ahead, take a deep breath, and assess your workload realistically.
3. Strategies for Easing the Pressure
Every day, stress can pile up in heaps if you do not take measures to keep it under control. Here are some that can help you move through stress and make the most of your day.
Early to Rise: Set your alarm clock early and take some time for yourself. Read a book, take a walk, or practice some light stretching or meditation. A relaxed and thoughtful start to the day can be a great stress reliever and help boost your day’s productivity.
Sleep: Make sure that you get enough sleep at night. A good night’s sleep helps memory, concentration and learning and can have a calming effect on your overall well-being. Establish a sleep schedule and stick to it, and make sure your room is a suitable environment to ensure good sleep.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day.
- Be mindful of the food you eat during the day.
- Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your worries.
- Engage in a hobby or activity to relax – such as listening to music or reading.
- Make time for yourself to relax and rewind.
These methods can help you build a better relationship with your stress and better manage it moving forward. As long as you give yourself the time and space, you can make it through each day one step at a time, all the while keeping stress levels under control.
4. Finding Work-Life Balance in the Age of Digital Distraction
Modern life can feel overwhelmingly chaotic. With so many sources of information, all at our fingertips, it’s difficult to ever feel fulfilled. What’s more, the digital world often becomes a distraction from balancing work and life. However, following a few key practices can help you reach a healthier work-life balance.
- Create boundaries: Digital notifications can be relentless, so it’s important to set boundaries for yourself. Restrict yourself to specific times to check emails, and you can even customize certain devices to stop notifications in certain areas.
- Prioritize: Technology has a way of making us feel as though everything needs to be available, all the time. Prioritizing what’s essential and what can be de-prioritized will help you be more mindful of where to focus your energy.
Work-life balance is a necessity for personal wellbeing. While the pull of digital devices seems inescapable, you can use the tools available to regulate your screen time and make time for yourself. ◦When feeling overwhelmed, always remember there are ways to manage your digital habits.
Managers of the modern age are faced with immense challenges, stretching their capabilities to the limit. While such a combination of task saturation, technological advancement, and ever-shrinking resource availability may seem daunting, it’s essential that an effective manager stands strong in the face of these obstacles. After all, it could be the key to a successful, shining career—which is something most of us wouldn’t mind having!