How to Cope with Downsizing

by robertr

January 12th, 2009

Dear Carnegie Coach:

My company has recently experienced some downsizing and my workload has increased drastically. When I get into work in the morning I have so many tasks to complete that I do not know where to begin. I know that my boss is relying on me at this time to accomplish many tasks. My major problem is that I’m not sure how I should prioritize my tasks. Do you have any advice that can help me prioritize?


Dear Kristin,

With the current outlook in the job market more and more is being asked of employees at an individual level. Now more than ever you need to break down your tasks and identify the priority that each of them has. Here are some tips that will allow you to prioritize and get the job done in the most efficient and productive way:

    • Record all Activities – Write down all your multiple demands, competing priorities, tasks and activities for the day or week. This will allow you visuals what needs to get done.

    • Determine Primary Goals – Make a list of your primary goals for the day or for the week.

    • Evaluate Important vs. Urgent – Decide which of these activities are the most important verses the most urgent. At this stage, take into consideration how certain items affect others and the consequences for not accomplishing certain items.

    • Rank – Use a ranking system to begin planning. For Example:

      “A” tasks have high priority and must be completed immediately.

      “B” tasks are moderately important but can be done after “A” tasks

      “C” tasks are of low-level importance and can be tackled in our spare time

    • Create Schedule – Indicate deadlines for each task and estimate the time involved to complete the task. Keep in mind any tasks that may be linked together to increase productivity.

    • Revisit Goals and Adjust – Review your goals and the rewards of doing the task on time, and make any necessary adjustments

    • Purge – Get rid of items on your list that remain at the bottom and will realistically not get done.

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  1. Will L. /

    Before companies consider downsizing with a complete overhaul on all your departments I would take a look at trying to consolidate just one or two departments. I have seen many companies, especially smaller to mid-sized businesses, start to use a PEO to help maintain the majority of their employees.