When your desk becomes a pile of folders from several projects that all seem urgent, most people’s first response is to feel overwhelmed.

Burnout can lead to stress and health problems, and employees suffering from these symptoms are unable to perform their best, making the production quality suffer.

The good news is that by following a few tips, you can improve your state of mind, helping to conquer those feelings and make you more productive again.

1~ Plan Things. Even if your first response at work is to jump right into things and to begin answering your emails, take a few minutes to first write down your tasks for the day. Put the list in order of priority, and cross things off once they have been completed. This will make you feel accomplished, as things on the list are finished one by one.

2~ Identify if it’s Temporary. Instead of feeling that there is no end in sight to your overly large work load, stop to think about why you are suddenly so busy. Is it the company’s busy time of year? Or maybe several of your colleagues are on vacation and you are covering their tasks, making your job more stressful. Both of these conditions are difficult, but temporary, allowing you to know that relief is in the new future. If you have extra work due to company growth, and you can’t see things lightening up anytime soon, this may be a good reason to speak to a supervisor about how to better handle things.

3~ Say No. Most of us hate saying no to others. We always want to help co-workers and don’t want to let them down. If you feel that you already have to many irons in the fire, gracefully turning additional projects down is completely acceptable. Simply explain to your colleague that you appreciate that they came to you, but are simply feeling like you have a full load at the minute and are unable to help at this time.

4~ Take Breaks. When your work days are extremely long, taking breaks through out the day should be a priority. Even if you can only find a few minutes at a time, be sure to get up from your desk several times. Take a short walk or get a coffee – allowing time to clear your head and relax.

5~ Remove Distractions. It’s hard to concentrate on something when co-workers are constantly walking into your office and your phone is always ringing. Try closing your door and only check your email once every couple of hours, so that you are able to focus all concentration on the project at hand.

6~ Make Boundaries. If you are working extra hours during the week and are still bringing things home to tackle during the weekend, it’s probably time to set boundaries before getting completely burnt-out. Sometimes your boss may also be extremely busy and might not realize all of the hours that you are putting in.  Sit down and talk to them about how you need to have some assistance to lighten your work load and try to come up with a solution.

Working too much and feeling overwhelmed will wear you down eventually. Take the time to come up with a solution on how you can take steps to improve your workload – which will help your attitude and productivity.