Work Overload: 7 Solutions When You Are Swamped

Two weeks ago our team partnered with a new wealth management firm. It has been an incredible transition thus far and I can tell will be one of the most memorable experiences of my career. Amidst this exciting change, I am overloaded more than usual at work. I have discovered some solutions to manage this:

Gather intel at the onset of  work overload

I eagerly called my Dad from outside yogurtology (it is a bad idea for me to keep ice cream or froyo in the freezer) the evening after break day. My father was also in finance so I knew he would appreciate and understand what resigning and joining a new firm is all about. He agreed that it was exciting and also shared his experience with leaving/joining a new firm: “It’s a lot of paperwork,” he said seriously. As you approach an influx of work, ask trusted sources for information and recommendations to mentally prepare for this adjustment.


Chameleon who communicates

Thanks to my 7 years in account leadership roles with a few Chicago marketing agencies, I am a seasoned in project management and instilling process. When there is a roadblock, I can identify it, and in this case, express it to our leader so we can solve for it. It is important to your productivity and to the success of the group to do this! Shortly after I voiced my observation, we had a team pow-wow and modified our process to ensure we are maximizing productivity and adhering to our timeline. This nimbleness is crucial during high influx of work.

Do not run yourself down

After 12 days in a row of work, my mind and body needed a rest. I awoke with a sore throat (paging manuka honey to the homeopathic resume) and I could sense the onset of a foggy head cold. I also felt anxious about getting my laundry done, grocery shopping, meal prepping, etc. I took Saturday and Sunday off, reminded myself that good sleep is vital, and arrived bright eyed and ready to rock on Monday morning.

Hydrate, eat healthily, workout

This seems obvious; you will feel wonderful and your body will appreciate you if you drink water and eat nutritious foods. Our temporary office has what feels like those last 100 meters of the track, which is excellent for my FitBit steps and daily activity. It is also not a substitute for working out. Do I workout 6 days a week for 45 minutes to an hour like I prefer? Hell no! During this transition time there is definitely a shift in my schedule. I have accepted this and altered my workout time to accommodate: I squeezed in a quick 2 mile run outside and booked a couple of mornings at Orange Theory. These appointments are in the app, on my calendar, I am showing up no matter the 12-hour day prior or day ahead.


Navigating unknown territory can be frustrating, especially for type A peeps like me! We love to know what to expect and plan accordingly. I play to win, and not knowing the rules ahead of time has been a humbling experience and wonderful opportunity for personal growth. What can you learn in a swirling, ever-changing scenario? Can you ask more questions? Can you learn to be more curious? 

Trust yourself to manage priorities

Our built-in intelligence systems are usually on-point. When my best friend from high school whom I had not heard from in a couple of months called yesterday at 6:30pm, I was still at work but I answered (we were not in a meeting). She confirmed all was well and I asked if I could call back later or this weekend. Work is important, meaningful, and certainly a priority. Your loved ones are, too! Make time for them and set expectations during this phase of increased workload. Gratefully, my tribe is understanding and supportive of this shift in our schedule.

Check yourself

How do YOU decompress? Maybe you watch criminal justice documentaries at the end of a long day. Maybe you meditate while running. Maybe you journal. Maybe you call your Mom or a friend. Maybe you view some inspirational YouTube vids. Whatever it is that makes you feel amazing, ensure you open and close each day with masses of self-love.


Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

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