Top Tips for Surviving Change Overload
One of the perks of consulting is the variety of work. It is cited as one of the main reasons people choose a consulting career, specifically in procurement consulting. Variety of work was the number one reason for becoming a procurement consultant; according to the 2021 CIPS/Hays report.
However, the variety of work can become overwhelming; this is what we call change overload. Change overload can happen for a variety of reasons and in different industries; usually triggered by organisational change or personal changes. When too many things change at once, or change is constant it can become too much.
This is because change takes up physical, cognitive and emotional energy; in addition to the energy already being used on actual project work.
It is important, therefore, that we consider some of the ways change overload can be avoided and how it can be overcome.
Take a Break
One of the most common reasons consultants experience change overload, or project overload is because they switch too quickly from one to another. It is more than common for consultants to finish up one project and begin immediately working on the next. Instead, we would advise you to take a break between projects, ideally at least a couple of days. In this time, you can unwind from your previous work and use the time to reflect on the project. Ask yourself questions such as - was there anything I could have done better? Was there something I wish I had said or raised but didn’t? How can I be better for the next one? Taking stock can make the next project run smoother, make the client happier and raise your value in the eyes of clients and others.
Choose Projects Carefully
At Choix, we give you the flexibility and freedom to choose the projects you work on. You won’t be penalised by our algorithms for turning work down like other platforms because we understand that not every client fits every consultant. We allow consultants to work on projects that benefit their career, suit their lifestyle and where they can provide true value to their clients because it’s what you choose.
If every project you work on is completely different to the last, the constant cycle of change could become overwhelming and expend a lot of energy. However, if you choose projects that are similar in nature; or, as similar as possible whilst still providing variety you will find that change is easier to cope with.
Don’t Take on Too Many Projects At Once
As mentioned previously, it is common for consultants to work on more than one project at a time – either if they are smaller projects or if projects overlap to avoid any downtime. For some, this strategy works efficiently, however it can become too much. Where possible try not to take on too many at once, this way you can focus entirely on one or two clients, providing them with the best possible service and real value; but also, you can save yourself from becoming overwhelmed and overloaded. You can instead use your energy to do the best job.
Taking on too many projects at once can be tempting, after all more projects is more money. However, in the longer term it can be damaging as if you overload yourself and perform poorly you may receive negative feedback and lose a potentially returning client in the future.
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is easier said than done. However, trying your best to do so will help prevent change overload by allowing you time to reset and start each day refreshed and energised. Overworking will only expend more energy, instead it is better to take time for yourself so you can be more productive and provide the best service to your clients. At Choix, we believe in promoting a healthy work-life balance which is why we encourage consultants to choose projects that work for them; and allow them to benefit their client in the best ways.
We know it can be hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance at times, so we’ve put together some of the best time management strategies that can help you stay productive.
Now that we have covered the different ways you can prevent change overload from happening, it is also important to discuss what you can do when it does happen. Change overload is overwhelming and tiring – so one of the best things you can do is break everything down so that it seems more manageable.
Change overload often happens when multiple aspects of your life change at once – these can be personal or professional changes, or both. Try to separate each aspect in order to make the changes less overwhelming. Look at everything on a smaller scale – and start to work through smaller tasks and milestones one at a time.
If you do feel that you are becoming overloaded with work, and it does not feel manageable there are resources available to help you, such as:
At Choix, we want to promote wellbeing at work and provide consultants with the chance to take control of their own career. With such choice, we want to empower consultants to choose projects that benefit both them and their client – where they can provide real insight, benefits and value.