Handling an Accumulated Backlog of Work
I have a schedule for most of the tasks I perform on a daily basis. I know exactly what I am going to be doing on each day of a week. For example, I know what my assigned tasks are for next week’s Monday, or even for next month’s Monday. This strategy works out to be perfect because instead of doing one big task for hours, I break it down into days and I don’t feel like I am doing something that is draining my energy and taking too much time. The main problem with this strategy is that if you skip a day (due to an appointment or some unexpected events) or a week (due to vacation or business trip), you will be overwhelmed by the accumulated backlog of tasks and it will not be easy to get back into the flow again. How can you handle situations like this when you are way behind?
My simple solution is that I let go the days or week I missed and start again from the beginning of the cycle. Let me give you an example to make it a little clearer. My workout schedule is something like this:
- Monday: Yoga
- Tuesday: Lower Body Workouts
- Wednesday: Squash
- Sunday: Upper Body Workouts
Now, if I miss one day, there is no point in me doing the rest because each of these is part of a program and they complement each other. So if I miss one day, instead of going to the next day it makes sense for me to start it all over again from day 1.
Another example should make it even clearer. Instead of writing a full article in one sitting, I break it down into parts and write a little bit every day. Let’s say I am scheduled to write an article for the Entrepreneur Journey site this week. I would write a little bit daily for the whole week to make it a complete article. Now, if I miss a couple of days in the beginning or in the middle, there is no way for me to finish the full article on time. So, instead of pressuring myself, I would set aside writing for that week and start again the next week.
The strategies mentioned above may or may not work for you – depending on how you handle your daily tasks. If you like to tackle one big task at a time, this may not work for you. In that case, you need to come up with other strategies to get rid of your backlogged tasks. However, if you handle smaller tasks daily like me, take a break if your are off schedule – you will be surprised to see the renewed level of energy and enthusiasm when you restart your cycle after a few days of unexpected but calculated break.