The majority of people seem to have too much on their plates these days. Everybody laments feeling overworked. Therefore, how can you inform your boss that you simply have too much to do? Everyone wants to avoid coming across as sluggish, uninterested, or a team player. When you say uncle, how can you maintain your reputation as a diligent worker?
What the Experts Say No matter how busy you are, it can be extremely challenging to discuss your heavy workload with your boss. According to productivity expert and author Julie Morgenstern, the reason is twofold. First, you might be concerned that saying something will cause you to lose your job. The feeling that someone else can handle the work if you can’t is in the bottom of your stomach; She says, “You feel unimportant.”
Second, “the natural tendency is to think that I am not working hard enough, intelligently enough, or efficiently enough. I ought to be able to deal with this.’ Therefore, you suffer silently. However, according to you first author and cofounder of 3COze Inc. Liane Davey, doing so is risky for your career. You overpromise because you are ambitious or you want to impress your boss, but when you don’t deliver, or when you deliver work that is rushed or of poor quality, it shows that you are not reliable. Therefore, you really ought to let your manager know whenever you feel overwhelmed. There are a few ways to improve the flow of the conversation.
Give yourself a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed and overworked. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee. Don’t be so harsh on yourself, says Morgenstern. The majority of businesses are attempting to make do with less, so there is more work than time to complete. “You’re not being lazy, and it does not reflect badly on you” if you’re a good performer who occasionally declines offers.
In fact, she adds, occasionally saying no improves your credibility. If anything is hindering their ability to perform at their best, bosses expect employees to speak up. Davey says it’s the “responsible thing to do” for the organization, despite the fact that it makes you feel uneasy to admit that you can’t handle everything that has been assigned to you. You leave your team in shambles if you are submerged and unable to fulfill your obligations.
Seek counsel and support when you feel overwhelmed, says Morgenstern. “Getting an outsider’s perspective on your workload can be helpful. You can get grounded with the help of a third party. She suggests informing a trusted friend or coworker of your projects and obligations. Ask her to examine the amount of work you have and provide you with an honest assessment of “whether it is too much for one person.”
According to Davey, you could also ask your boss for guidance and “coaching on strategies for dealing with overwork.” You can work more effectively and clarify your expectations by asking for help. Say something like, “It takes me approximately five hours a month to prepare this report for the finance department.” Is this consistent with your expectations? Do you have any recommendations for streamlining the procedure?'” After all, “it’s not like your boss hasn’t felt the same way in the past.”
Provide solutions According to Morgenstern, the right mindset is necessary when having an honest conversation about your workload with your manager. Together with your boss, you are working toward the company’s objectives.” To make sure you’re both on the same page, she suggests starting the conversation by “stating the organization’s shared objectives.” Then specify what is preventing you from achieving your objectives. Try to be as specific as you can. You might say something like, “This assignment requires a lot of research, which takes a long time,” or “Now that I manage a team, I spend more time planning, and I have less time for day-to-day work.” The following conversation is crucial: Provide three solutions to the problem. Morgenstern advises against entering into a problem until you have the solution. You might, for instance, suggest that certain tasks be completed quarterly as opposed to monthly, that coworkers step in to help you with a particular project, or that the company hire a temporary employee to lighten the load. Identifying “projects that can be delayed, delegated, deleted, or diminished” is your objective.
Prioritize. When you are already stretched thin, it is excruciating when your boss assigns you yet another task. According to Davey, they frequently assign work without knowing how long each task will take. You should respond by describing your responsibilities and asking, “Which of these is most critical? And how would you rank the remaining ones?” Morgenstern suggests that you ask your boss to “define the level of effort” that he expects from you on particular assignments and “what a maximum, minimum, and moderate effort looks like.” Morgenstern advises, “Don’t agree to anything new on the spot if you are unsure whether you can deliver.” Say, “Tell me what is expected on this, and let me figure out if I can do it based on my other projects.” Could I contact you tomorrow?’ Give yourself a break.
Offer to assist Even if you have too much to do, it is considerate and smart for your career to assist when you can. According to Davey, the message you should send to your boss should read something like, “I don’t feel that I can take on [this project] without doing a disservice to the other work I’ve committed to, but I can carve out time in my schedule to provide direction to the person who is going to do it.” This is what you should say to your boss. You could, for example, offer to attend brainstorming sessions, read drafts, or provide feedback. And after that, make yourself available, “she adds. According to Morgenstern, providing a small lifeline is a method of establishing “your identity as the responsible worker committed to the success of the organization,” even when bandwidth is limited.
Be sincere. Everybody experiences times in their lives when tumultuous personal events take precedence over everything else. Morgenstern says that it’s best to be honest if you’re going through one of those times, such as when your mother has been diagnosed with a serious illness or when your son is having trouble in school. She suggests that you might say to your manager, “If I ignore this, it will create enormous stress in my family and affect my job performance.” Your demeanor and tone should be “grounded and as centered as possible,” and you should speak clearly. Davey concurs:
“Make it situational and time-limited.” Say something like, “This doesn’t happen often, but the next two weeks are kind of like a tsunami for me.” I need assistance. Honesty is appreciated and appreciated by a reasonable boss. It’s not the best response to try to be the hero to the point of exhaustion.
Keep your coworkers close by telling your boss that you’re working too much doesn’t always help. Davey suggests letting your coworkers know that you’re feeling overwhelmed “a heads-up” when the boss refuses to make changes. They might, if your boss won’t let you off the hook, she says. They might be able to alleviate a burden on you or get around a delay on your part.
And even if they are unable to assist, you have “headed off anything that would erode their Trust,” and they have “at least been given a warning” that you are overextended and unable to give it your all. Morgenstern says that if your boss doesn’t care how busy you are all the time, it might be time to find a new job. She asserts that excessive work “is not sustainable” in the long run.
Principles to Keep in Mind
If you want to cut down on the amount of time you spend on certain assignments, ask your manager or a coworker for advice.
Asking if priorities can be changed or trades can be made upfront.
By asking if there are any small ways you can assist colleagues and projects, you can demonstrate your willingness to contribute.
Be critical of yourself. You are not lazy if you occasionally decline a request or ask for a break.
Accept additional work right away. If you tell your boss that you will evaluate your workload and get back to him, you can buy yourself some time.
When your boss won’t listen, keep your coworkers in the dark. When you’re submerged, let them know so you don’t lose their trust.
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