When the Going gets Tough

When the Going gets Tough

Dear Readers, (don’t worry, this is not Lady Whistledown sharing some gossip)

Our monthly Food Bites Blog is always aimed at helping you be the best you can be. Whether it’s technical advice about food safety, quality, health and safety, environmental or laboratory management, we always strive to make sure there’s something for you to take home.

Obviously, we always use our own situations and experiences as a basis for deciding the theme for each blog.  We don’t have a pre-determined schedule, with 12 topics and blogs set out for the year in advance – that would not speak to the connectedness we have with our readers.  Rather we try to reflect on our own challenges and hope that you can learn from our mistakes.

For some or other reason “silly season” has arrived earlier this year.  It’s crazy chaos! And, truth be told, we love to be busy, but the constant pressure does take its toll sooner or later.  That is why we have decided to share some useful tips about managing timelines and hectic workloads in our Blog this month.

In order of priority:

  1. Communicate: You have to speak up (before you drown, that is). As soon as you see your tasks are escalating out of control, and you are facing a backlog despite your efforts to catch-up, you need to make sure your colleagues and managers know.  Too often this communication only happens after it is too late to save the situation.
  2. Re-calibrate: This is going to sound counter-productive, but you need to take a time-out and just step back from the situation for a minute. Taking a moment to review the current situation as a whole brings new perspective and also confirms the reality of the situation.  How bad is it really?  That is what you want to know.
  3. Organise: Talking of counter-productive, this is going to freak you out… Sometimes the physical chaos around us only contributes to the actual chaos of what is going on in our actual work. Clearing your desk or working area helps to clear the clutter both physically and emotionally.
  4. Prioritise: We know this is the instinctive place to start when your workload starts to outweigh an elephant, but without proper re-calibration and organisation, the true nature and impact of the backlog cannot be assessed. This often leads to incorrect prioritisation and eventually more pressure!
  5. Re-visit: After all is said and done, and the situation has been saved (we are all heroes), always take time to come back to where you were and remember what you did to get out of the situation. The idea is that we learn from our experiences.  Reviewing the build-up to the backlog in the first place and other contributing factors may indicate that more resources are needed, or the re-delegation of certain duties may prevent similar situations in future.

It’s normal for anyone’s “wheels to come off”, but it’s how we put them back that really makes the difference.

Despite the fact that we are super-busy, we always have time for you.  Email any questions, quote requests or enquiries to info@progress-excellence.co.za.

Until next month!

Food Bites Team

*A special “thank you” to the ladies who run the show in the Progress Excellence back office for these helpful tips!