Workload Management

What you need to know

Canada Post aims to create a work environment where assigned tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time available.

We endeavour to provide the support necessary to ensure career success for our employees. Knowledge, skills and abilities including time management, prioritization, setting goals and boundaries are important to successful workload management.

Click to learn more about the National Standard – Workload Management

What you can do

2.1. Improve your organizational skills

Being organized can help reduce stress, provide more balance to the workday, and increase a sense of accomplishment by helping to get the most important, things done.

To stay organized:

  • Set up your day with a list of daily goals.
  • Take a few minutes to organize your workspace and make sure the tools and resources you need are close by.
  • Prioritize your tasks and delegating those that don’t need to be your responsibility.
  • Build breaks into your schedule.

2.2. Prioritize your work

Prioritization is a big part of workload management, and key to focusing on what is important, not just what seems most urgent. Refer to the information below to develop a prioritization system that works for you.

The Eisenhower Matrix defines all tasks by their urgency and their importance to determine what needs to be done now, plan to do later, postpone for now, or eliminate.

La matrice d’Eisenhower définit toutes les tâches par leur urgence et leur importance pour déterminer ce qui doit être fait maintenant, ce qu’on devrait planifier de faire plus tard, et ce qu’on peut reporter pour l’instant ou éliminer.

1. Do Urgent and Important 2. Plan Not Urgent, but Important
3. Postpone Urgent, but Not Important 4. Eliminate Not Urgent and Not Important
  1. Do: Urgent AND important, so should be your main priority.
  2. Plan: Important, but not urgent. You should work on these tasks for a short time each day.
  3. Postpone: These tasks are urgent, but not important. You should delay completing these tasks until you have the time to spare, as the consequences of the delay will be minor since the task isn’t crucial.
  4. Eliminate: Not urgent OR important and should be eliminated through delegation, abandoning the task, or other methods so they don’t take up time that could be better spent on other tasks.

2.3. Accept help from others

Encourage coworkers to access advice and support offered through Homewood Health, Canada Post’s EFAP:

  • Consider reaching out to coworkers for social support, technical expertise, physical help completing tasks, and other assistance.
  • Practise asking for help from your team leader or peers so you feel comfortable when you are in significant need.
  • Accept help when it is offered; offer to help others when you are able.
  • Differentiate between what needs to be your responsibility and what can be delegated, and respond accordingly:
    • Determine what situations require your immediate attention and those that can be handled by someone else, or at a different time
    • Choose your actions carefully by determining the right time to intervene that allows for others to use their problem-solving skills beforehand
    • For tasks that can be delegated, identify who could best handle a task based on their skills, experience, and schedule, and ask them to take it on
    • Seek out support from resources like EFAP, peers, and your supervisor to help you cope with the demands and stress of your work

2.4. Set realistic goals

Often, we can be harsher on ourselves than is justified or than we would be on others, which can lead to feelings of guilt, stress, and even burnout. Try these strategies to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself:

  • Practise establishing SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound)
  • Clearly defined goals provide clues on how to achieve them, so they are easier to accomplish
  • Setting realistic goals allows you to see regular progress, helping you feel more productive and less discouraged or less likely to burnt out
  • When setting goals, consider external factors like ongoing events in the world and in your personal life.
    • Make a list of things to be mindful of before setting goals for yourself.
  • Review your expectations of yourself and others frequently and revise as appropriate
    • Set a periodic reminder (i.e. every 2 weeks) for goals that involve longer term timelines
    • Consider any changes in circumstances since you set the goal
      • Is accomplishing this goal still necessary?
      • Is this goal still realistic?
  • Ask yourself whether you would hold the same expectations of someone you care for as you do of yourself, and practice treating yourself as you would treat these others

2.5. Keep a healthy mindset toward productivity

Productivity can be unhealthy when it is at the expense of quality work, careful decision-making, personal health and well-being, and interpersonal relationships. This is often accompanied by unrealistic expectations of oneself and may contribute to feelings of guilt and restlessness when attempting to detach from work. Ultimately, this leads to burnout, stress, poor health, poor work-life balance, isolation, and other harmful effects.

To maintain a healthier mindset toward productivity, try the following:

  • Practise differentiating between healthy and unhealthy productivity and surround yourself with people who encourage healthy behaviours
  • Re-examine your own attitudes toward productivity
    • Focus on valuing yourself for who you are, not what you produce or accomplish
    • Exercise your emotional intelligence and why you feel the urge to take the lead on issues that may not be your responsibility
  • Reframe your mindset toward breaks to recognize them as an important tool that will help you accomplish your work with less stress and preserve your well-being
  • Redefine success with yourself and with your team
    • Consider what things other than “amount of work completed” may indicate productivity or success within your team
    • Establish clear norms and procedures for recognition and reward to avoid team members feeling the need to go to extremes to have their effort acknowledged
  • Practise mindfulness
    • Observe and accept what is happening around and within yourself without judgment.
    • Remain aware of your mental and physical needs
    • You can use an app to guide you in practising mindfulness
  • Promote resources that can offer support to those who may struggle with unhealthy attitudes toward productivity

2.6. Consider Workload management workshops

  • Putting workload management on the agenda: Creating awareness workshop
  • Putting workload management on the agenda: Creating change workshop

Consider initiating a task improvement process.

2.7. Headversity

  • Team training
  • Solo training

2.8 Grassroots tips and tricks for staying focused

  • Anticipate the execution
  • Know the plan for the next day/initiative.
  • Foreshadow any issues
  • Do a mental run-through
  • Stay organized
    • Organized your space (keep work areas clean and uncluttered)
    • Keep track of thoughts, plans and to-do list
  • Run a to-do list
    • Write it down, complete task, mark it off, throw it out.
  • Provide solutions
    • Deal with difficult issues immediately if possible.
    • Do not keep stale notes around
    • Talk to people that can/ are willing to take time to help.
  • Ensure you understand the assignment
    • Make sure you gain adequate knowledge from the leader so you understand the expectation,
    • Know what a win would look like
  • Play by play

    • First thing in the morning look at calendar to see what meetings are scheduled for the day.
    • Read emails to see what tasks are most important for the day.
    • Make a list of all the tasks at hand and the ones most important with the closest deadlines to be completed first, schedule the task to be completed within scheduled meetings for the day.
    • Make a personal commitment to finish all task ahead of time or the by scheduled date.
    • Take lots of notes while in meetings to understand the task that will need to be competed.
    • Have an organized desk and work centre to ensure easy access to information.
    • File information in different labelled folders for each task.

    Prepare for the day

    • Be aware of areas that are under road construction that could cause potential delays.
    • Check with staffing to see if any new drivers covering a route – that driver will require extra attention to help keep them on schedule.
    • Open dispatch an hour before the shuttle start times to evaluate each route and determine if any pickups could be in jeopardy – assign on-demand to another route or arrange to use other depot resources.
    • Assign on-demands as necessary considering any other potential slowdowns for that route.
    • Contact new customers to determine what product they are sending out, as well as any special instructions concerning location.
    • Communicate any changes or on-demands with the driver.

    Follow up, Evaluate and Celebrate at the end of each shift:

    • Determine what is highest priority to be considered a successful day (i.e. pickups completed on time, to our customers’ satisfaction, and all drivers return safely)
    • Look back at the day and see if there was anything that could have been improved
    • Celebrate the successes each day with positive self-talk (Carolyn added this)