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Tips for Feeling Less Busy as a Supervisor

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Being a supervisor has its perks, but it also has it downsides. It’s exciting to take on new challenges and gain new skills as you learn to be an expert people manager. However, supervisors often feel overloaded and too busy as a result of the hefty load on their plate. In Beware the Busy Manager, a Harvard Business Review contributor wrote,

“If you listen to executives, they’ll tell you that the resource they lack most is time. Every minute is spent grappling with strategic issues, focusing on cost reduction, devising creative approaches to new markets, (and beating) competitors.”

Sound familiar?

While supervisors can delegate select tasks to others, it’s unlikely that they will have less responsibilities as long as they remain in a management position. The good news is that they can feel less busy.

Tips for Feeling Less Busy as a Supervisor

When it comes to feeling busy as a supervisor, the struggle is very real. Here are a few tips for helping those in management positions feel less rushed and frenzied on the job:

  • Don’t just manage people; manage your time – As a supervisor, one of your primary tasks is to manage people. A word of caution: don’t manage employees but fail to manage your own time. Time management is crucial to the success and sanity of a manager. U.S. News contributor Marcelle Yeager suggested that managers schedule their tasks in 2-3 hour chunks of time (example tasks include reviewing emails, doing priority work, planning for meetings, and making top priority calls). Not multitasking while you work is essential to getting everything done. Disabling notifications on your phone will help. Yeager said, “If your work requires creativity, try to do those tasks early in the day when you have more brainpower.”


  • Plan your day the day before – Dedicating just a few minutes at the end of each workday to planning the next day will help you stay on-schedule and organized. Be sure not to over-plan. Jot down just 5 or 6 must-do items on tomorrow’s list.


  • Don’t people-please – People-pleasing is a habit that’s tough to break. As a manager, you have to break this habit. After all, you are in a position that gives your employees direct access to you. This means that you need to establish boundaries and then enforce them by saying “no” when you need to. Being mindful of your feelings is key to knowing when and how to set a boundary. Contributors to Inc. wrote, “There are three key feelings that are often red flags or cues that you need to either set boundaries in a particular situation or that you are letting your boundaries slip (and not maintaining them). These feelings are (1) discomfort, (2) resentment, or (3) guilt.” Pay attention to what prompts these emotions. Being self-aware in this way will aid you in defining and gently enforcing boundaries with those you manage. Read more about setting boundaries at work here.

Feeling overly busy comes with the territory of being in a management position. So does growing into your position and learning to be an amazing manager of your time. How do you conduct yourself at work in ways that ensure you don’t feel drained at the end of the day?

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