Trying to grow companies is hard work. Rarely are there enough resources and no matter how late or hard you work there is always more to be done. Big projects can often mask the load because they draw focus. But when you get over the hump on a major initiative you can find yourself with an overwhelming amount of work that got pushed aside. That’s when the workload can just feel debilitating.

No need to panic. You can dig yourself out of almost any hole if you keep your wits about you. If you clear away mounds of work in a short time, you’ll feel re-energized and ready to create new opportunities. You can systematically reduce your workload with a little thought and organization. Start with a positive attitude and make a list of everything on your plate. Then take a deep breath and use these tips to attack the mountain of work ahead.

1. Eliminate unimportant projects. Does everything on the list really need to be done? Often we have tasks on our list that are only nice to have, or perhaps are legacy tasks that are no longer important or applicable to our success path. Go through the list and rank items of critical importance from 1 to 5. Take all of the 5s off your list and focus on the 1s and 2s. You can always move an item back on the list when it becomes useful or crucial.

2. Minimize steps. Often people make tasks more complicated then they need to be. Most of the time this happens either because the task hasn’t been carefully planned or because the way it’s been done in the past hasn’t been reassessed and updated. Examine each task on the list as if it were brand new and write out a simple 5-step completion process for each one. Most likely you’ll simplify the process on several tasks and free up some of your time.

3. Move out deadlines. It may seem like everything needs to be done right now, and it probably does. But in truth, everything can’t happen simultaneously. Set your list on a timeline identifying requirements to get started, so you can see which tasks are inter-dependent and then determine how long they will actually take. Now you can prioritize and calendar each item. This process will help set priorities and eliminate inefficiencies and wait times.

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