Leadership

Former U.S. Navy SEAL: 3 attack strategies to hit your goals and take control of your work day

Overwhelmed at work? If so, you're in good company. Even high performers can become paralyzed by competing priorities and the impossible desire to do their best at every task.

But if you find yourself in this position, it's time to take control, says leadership coach and former U.S. Navy SEAL Jocko Willink.

"When I start to feel that, I want to get that control back." Willink tells CNBC Make It. "So what I do is I go on the attack."

To get back on track, Willink suggests these three steps.

Make a plan

Stop being reactive and get proactive. Pull together a list of what needs to be done and start with your No.1 priority. Task by task, work your way down the list.

Prioritizing means taking a hard look at your schedule, too. Talk to your supervisor about what meetings or calls are truly essential so you can get your most important work done.

These moves won't just help you get started on your tasks. They will also help you feel empowered and confident, fueling your progress.

Go on a sprint

When you really feel "you're losing the battle," a quick work sprint can help.

Here's how it works: Outline all the tasks you know you could accomplish if you simply had some uninterrupted time. Then take that time, whether it's two hours or two full days.

Rid your surroundings of any distractions and put your full focus into the tasks on your list. "Hit the turbo button," says Willink. "Go hard" to get yourself where you need to be.

You might not finish every task, but you'll make important headway, and that momentum can help you keep going. Not only will you be able to start catching up on your assignments, but you'll start to regain your edge.

Just remember to keep your sprints short and do them sparingly, says Willink. The idea is to move forward on your projects, not burn you out further.

Ask for help

If you're constantly working long hours and can't catch up, it might be time to ask for help. "You need to go up the chain of command," says Willink.

He recommends logging every task you do throughout the course of two weeks. Bring that list to your boss to start a conversation about your workload and what's holding you back.

Your boss might not know your workload has become unstainable. In fact, your boss might not even have a full picture of all the tasks you're working on. Ask about ways to streamline your processes or if another set of hands could pitch in.

No matter what you do, don't wait to make a change. Studies show the most satisfied employees feel control in their jobs. Take action to get back your confidence and be more effective at your job in the process.

"You need to buckle down, dig in and fight hard to get back up on top of your world," says Willink.

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