What to do When Your Work Has Piled Up

Work Overload: What to Do When It Happens

I’ll just get one thing clear: work could mean a different thing for different people.

School work, office work, construction work, project work, house work, taking-care-of-cats-and-cactuses work… You see? Different.

But they can all pile up and catch you off-guard. Just like what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I was too caught up on one class’s project that I completely forgot about the others. Before I knew it, the deadlines of some were looming in the corner and I had to work overtime to finish them and I became a crying carbon-based puddle with two huge, matching gray bags under my eyes.


Folks, let me tell you two things: One, a crying carbon-based puddle is not as cute in real-life. And two, cramming and last-minute preparations are NOT healthy in so many ways.

Among other things, they add stress and the possibility of overfatigue is highly likely. Which was why I had to take a week off last week. Because I was catching up on deadlines and cramming #AllTheThings. Still am, actually, but at least it got better.

So what do you do when your workload piled up and you’re bound to be buried under it the same way every bookworm is buried in their TBR? (I can’t help it, the images are just too similar xD)

Below is my very own contingency plan for when this happened to me again. (Because I just know *Dobby voice* history is to repeat itself)

Don’t Multitask

When I was a kid, I used to think multitasking is this awesome skill that awesome people have.

My dear friends, it’s not.

Best-case scenario you’re a crying carbon-based puddle with plenty of half-finished outputs. And worst-case? You’re a crying carbon-based puddle with nothing.

Besides, science has found out that our attention is hard-wired to only focus on one thing at a time. So during those times when you think you were multitasking? You were simply switching your attention to another task stupendously quickly.

Stop Procrastinating

HAHAHA. This is easier written than done, I know.

Not too long ago (like until two years ago specifically) I pride myself in being a Master Procrastinator and getting away with the mercy of the Cramming Gods. But I was innocent to the degree of harshness the Time Lords are capable of. Until two years ago. When I started college. Laawd, that time was an eye-opener.

Maybe I’ll talk more extensively about procrastination in the future but the point is, you have to be more aware when you are procrastinating and do something about it. And by something I mean, other than wallowing in self-pity and despair and all the non-productive things.

And one “something” is…

Use a Time-Management Tool

I know that sounds legit and so professional-like but a time-management tool could be something as simple as a planner. It also doesn’t have to be something material. Creating and religiously following a routine already works plenty for some people.

Find one that will work out for you and so there’s no shame in trying out as many as you want. To find the tool that works great for you requires some trial-and-error, anyway.


This one, along with not multitasking, is something I know firsthand to be effective. But unlike not multitasking, I… usually only prioritize when I’m on the verge of a work overload. *laughs embarrassingly while building my own cone of shame* Something I know I should change.

Aaanyway, what I basically do is lay out all the tasks that need to be done, consider their respective deadlines and how much time I should put into them, and sort out how I’ll prioritize.

Breathe In and Relax

Panicking, at best, will help you finish your work—though, it’s probably going to be a crappy output. At worst… you guessed it right, a crying carbon-based puddle running in circles.

So take a deep breath and relax. A relaxed mind can do more and better than a panicked running-around-in-circles one. 😉

It kinda looks like this. Notice how systematic I become when the deadline is looming?

What do you do when you’re experiencing work overload? Have any other tips? Share them below!

Happy whistle-while-you-working, awesome peeps!

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