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Crawling out from under work overload

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in Admins,HR Management,Human Resources,Office Management

“I feel overwhelmed … I’m never completely done with my work.”

Recently, an admin wrote on our online forum ( that she felt swallowed whole by her job, doing work that had originally been spread among five people.

“I was offered a promotion seven months ago to a newly created position. One area involves registering patients and answering a constantly ringing telephone. The second area involves faxing patient documents. The third area involves billing. I can accomplish all three roles, but I’m not doing it efficiently.

“How should I handle this?”

Here’s what other admins say they’d do:

Document the time you spend on tasks. “It is tedious, but worth it. Your manager will be able to take that information to his boss and human resources to justify another staff person.”— Diane Johnson-Hung

Give yourself more time to settle in. “If after a year you still feel changes need to be made, then go to your supervisor again and present your information on time spent.”— Courtney L.

Be ready to propose a solution, rather than a status report. “Have a response prepared for the first time anyone asks how they can help. Say, ‘We need to hire a temp or part-time employee to answer the phone and send faxes.’” — Lshar

Batch your work. “Allocate specific blocks of time for your faxing and billing activities. This will allow you to focus on them and feel a sense of completion, rather than a state of constant interruption.”— Bernie

Hire a part-time retiree for faxing and copying. “Retirees would welcome an opportunity.”— Anonymous

Hire a teen. “My daughter worked in a medical office her junior year of high school. She worked from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and did all the office faxing.”—Anonymous in Missouri

Trust in yourself. “Being in the position you are in seems the norm these days, especially with organizations trying to save money. Please realize that because you are taking on the jobs of others, you may never get caught up. When you get that overwhelmed feeling, take a bathroom break and clear your mind. Do what you can, and don’t push yourself to the point of hating where you are.”—Anita T.

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