Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Growth requires heavier workloads. The key to reducing the inevitably increasing stress is to keep up with the growing number of projects. By effectively managing its workload and limiting the amount of incoming work, a company can help the mental and physical well-being of its employees. However, for an enterprise to be able to do this, it must first notice the warning signs of an overwhelming work queue.
Luckily, figuring out whether a business is overburdened doesn't have to be all guesswork. Below, 10 contributors to Forbes Coaches Council discuss some of the signs that a company can look for to determine whether their workload is overbearing, and how to best deal with that for the good of their employees and the organization.
1. Missed Deadlines
One of the rather reliable ways to diagnose potential excess in workload is to match progress to initial timelines. Once the "noise" is cleared up, i.e. reasons that could have affected progress, it is simple to see what delays were caused by time or resource limitations. Combine that with frontline feedback and the data set for decision making is sufficiently usable. - Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group
2. Increased Lack Of Focus
One key sign that you may need to cut back is your client communication. I personally measure if I am being stretched too thin by simply asking. I am regularly polling clients about the service they are receiving from myself and my firm. If I get an insufficient score, I recalibrate how I am working and at what cost. Client satisfaction is our No. 1 priority. - Stephynie Malik, Stephynie Malik, SMALIK Enterprises
Multitasking just does not work and can hurt employees. I talked to a client last week who is the HR lead for a company, but for the last three months, she has been the marketing director. Not only is it stressing her out, but she said to me, "I cannot think creatively at all when I am doing both." She added, "I don't have the ability to be my best." A toll will be taken and multitasking is the sign. - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.
4. Lack Of Energy
Growth is wonderful, and at the same time, wonderfully exhausting! When energy lacks, so does our creativity. To find balance, I make sure to take an audit of my energy and creativity levels daily. If the work takes more effort than usual, I take a moment to go outside. Nature always brings me back to what is really important. Once I'm "back," the creativity returns! - Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken Mastermind Coaching
5. Loss Of Civility
People under pressure lose their courtesy. Blame arises and people stop taking time to connect with their colleagues. Ask team members where they need help with and rebalance the workloads. Renegotiate timelines and deadlines. When people begin to cooperate with one another, they remember the humanity of everyone around the table. Compassion rises when we cooperate! - Jennifer Owen-O'Quill, Voltage Leadership Consulting
6. Uptick In Conflicts
Interpersonal conflicts usually begin to trickle in when people have too much work on their proverbial plates. Conflict is almost always caused by miscommunication, so if you see an uptick in conflicts, send your staff to communications training, schedule a team-building session and make sure everyone knows they're valued in a special way. - Brian M Harman, Business Management Hallmark
7. Too Many All-Nighters
A sign that you or your business have too many projects going on and how you should dial back or shift focus to find balance is when you are pulling all-nighters and still have more to do. Write down where you spend your time in a 24-hour day and prioritize basic needs such as sleeping, eating and breaks. Then, delegate tasks to others and prioritize your tasks. Still too much? Hire more people. - Elizabeth Ruiz, EAR Enterprises
8. Canceling Healthy Activities
When you "just don't have time to…," you know you are entering dangerous waters. Lack of sleep, cancelled workouts, long hours -- all in the name of "getting things done" almost always results in the law of diminishing returns. Rest. Exercise. Take days off completely free from work activities. In the end, you will get more done and lower your stress level immensely. - John Hittler, Evoking Genius
9. Regretting Decisions
Everyone's limit is different but your body knows when you are close to the edge. If you find yourself making more decisions that you regret, feeling more impatient than usual and feeling abnormally exhausted while making decisions, your body is screaming, "Rest, please!" Give yourself permission to stop, step away and sleep before coming back to any other key decision. That email can wait. Really. - Monica Kang, InnovatorsBox
10. Projects Difficult To Complete
One of the clearest signs that you have too many projects going on and need to scale back is when a particular project becomes difficult and menial to complete. The lack of drive to complete this task could mean that it is out of alignment with your company’s core focus and it is time to get back to what you specialize in and what created the growth in the first place. - Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience