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July to September: the height of summer vacation in many countries around the world when many colleagues take time off. Well deserved. But the other side of the coin is felt by those employees who cover their colleagues’ absence. On top of an already full workload, they now must manage additional tasks. Without the right tools and approaches, that can quickly become a mammoth undertaking.
Fortunately, there are ways and means to efficiently master the extraordinary workload without sacrificing additional time and nerves. Below, we present five helpful tips that will help you get through the stand-in period and still work efficiently.
The additional tasks that land on your desk due to the vacation-related absence of your colleagues need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. But instead of juggling several projects at once, set priorities. Work on one thing at a time. With each completed task, your satisfaction increases and projects get done faster. The time saved by monotasking is impressive.
Team meetings are especially important when multiple tasks are distributed among fewer team members. After all, coordination with each other is the core of effective collaboration. But many meetings waste time. The solution? Standing meetings! A study conducted in 1999 found that standing meetings lead to the same results as sitting meetings - with an average time saving of 34%.
Be sure to give yourself regular breaks during work hours. This may sound paradoxical in view of the full to-do list, but without short rest periods your ability to concentrate will plummet. Your brain needs a break after 90 minutes of working time at most. Schedule these breaks firmly into your workday and stick to them. After 10 to 15 minutes, your brain has recovered. You will work much more sustainably and effectively.
To-do lists are fantastic tools. However, you should definitely make sure that your list is actually doable. Too many items will cause you to lose track of what you need to do and will seem more frustrating than helpful. At the beginning of your work week, record all the to-dos you want to tackle or finish. Break larger tasks into smaller sections. Limit the to-do list to a realistic, achievable workload.
Work directly with your remaining colleagues - teamwork will reduce workload many times over! It makes sense to introduce a software solution that enables effective collaboration for the entire company instead of coordinating many different tools. To facilitate teamwork in MS Office and Office 365, empower® offers perfect solutions. The empower® add-in integrates easily into your IT environment. You can create documents in your corporate design, collaborate on PowerPoint presentations, and save up to 30% of working time thanks to extensive template libraries - uniformly and location-independently for your entire team.
We would be happy to explain to you in detail how our empower® add-In suite makes your everyday work easier while your colleagues relax on their summer vacation. You can contact empower® here for a free consultation.