Four Ways to Tackle a Chaotic Day

Ever have one of those days? You know the type: All of the sudden it’s time for lunch but you never would have known because your breakfast is still sitting idle at your desk. Meanwhile, you’re wearing your coffee (yeah, spilled again), and the deadline at 1 p.m. is quickly approaching…

Well, our friends at Brazen Careerist outlined a few ways to manage chaos on the job.

1. Prioritize. Yes, this entails planning ahead even during the most chaotic of times. Vishnu Subramaniam writes in the piece, “Not all tasks are created the same. You must determine what your ultimate goal and objective is for the day. Is your job to advocate for a policy, improve turnout for a community event or sell a product or service?”

Once an objective has been identified, it should be crystal clear as to what you should work on first. Looming deadline? Time to work on it first.

2. Say “no” more often. Saying no to irrelevant tasks means saying yes to yourself. And of course, there are times when you can’t say no like when your boss asks you to do something but saying no could be as simple as turning down a colleague to get a cup of coffee as it will disrupt your concentration for an upcoming conference call. Saying no more often usually makes it easier to say no more in the future.

3. Ask for help. We really like this one because there are available resources to tap into; remember, you’re not in this alone. Subramaniam indicates, “You work with a team. People will likely help you, especially if you can show them the project is in their best interests as well.”

4. Restrict your email access to a specific time period. Amen! How many times have you found yourself checking the inbox early in the morning only to realize you’ve been attached to it all day long?

As pointed out in the piece, if you “leave your email in-box open indefinitely, your whole day will be reactionary.” Instead of leaving your in-box open all day (and available on your mobile phone, too), set aside a specific time period each day to answer messages. “When finished, close your email for the day.”