Drowning in paperwork Employee drowning in paperwork

Everyone handles work-related stress differently, but for me, the feeling resulting from a towering pile of projects is pretty distinctive. I imagine it’s what the early stages of being suffocated would feel like, and goes something like this: My carefully-planned to-do list is set for the week. I’m comfortably busy at work, but have enough breathing room to schedule in a few workouts, a happy hour and time to prepare healthy meals. Then, within the span of a few hours, an email comes in from another department requiring follow-up, a co-worker stops by my desk with a stack of documents that need my attention, and someone from the executive team emails about a new campaign I must set in motion.

These unexpected projects, some of which have no clear directions or set deadlines, wipe out that sense of calm I had earlier, replacing it with panic, a loss of control and even resentment toward those who unapologetically came along to ruin my plan. Feeling overwhelmed, I step outside the office for a few minutes to gain my composure, because despite my frustration over the workload, I still value my professional reputation and would rather not have anyone see me in this frenzied state.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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