Call Us
+91 9830082617

How to Tell Your Manager That You’re Overworked

These days it seems like most people have too much on their plate. Everyone complains about feeling overworked. So how do you tell your boss you simply have too much to do? No one wants to come across as lazy, uncommitted, or not a team player. How can you protect your image as a hard worker while saying uncle?

What the Experts Say
No matter how busy you are, it can feel exceedingly difficult to talk to your boss about your heavy workload. The reason is twofold, according to Julie Morgenstern, productivity expert and author of First, you may worry that by saying something you’re going to lose your job. “In the bottom of your belly is this feeling that if you can’t handle the work, there’s someone else who can; you feel dispensable,” she says.

Second, “the natural tendency is to think, ‘I am not working hard enough, smart enough, or efficiently enough. I should be able to handle this.’ So you suffer in silence.” But doing so is dangerous for your career, says Liane Davey, cofounder of 3COze Inc. and author of you first. “You overcommit because you are ambitious or you want to impress your boss, but then when you fail to deliver — or deliver work that is rushed or of poor quality — it sends a message that you are not reliable.” So when you feel snowed under, you really should let your manager know. Here are a few ways to make the conversation go more smoothly.

Cut yourself some slack
Feeling overwhelmed and overworked does not signify that you’re a subpar employee. “Don’t judge yourself so harshly,” says Morgenstern. “At most organizations, companies are trying to make do with less, so there is more work to do than there is time to do it.” If you’re a good performer who on occasion turns down, “you’re not being lazy, and it does not reflect badly on you.”

In fact, she adds, saying no from time to time increases your credibility. “Bosses want their employees to speak up if there is anything that’s keeping them from performing at peak levels.” Even though it feels uncomfortable to admit you can’t handle everything that’s been assigned to you, Davey says it’s the “responsible thing to do” for the organization. “If you’re underwater and you can’t meet your commitments, you leave your team in the lurch.”

Seek counsel and support
When you feel too busy, it can be helpful to get an outsider’s perspective on your workload, says Morgenstern. “A third party can help you get grounded.” She recommends outlining your projects and obligations to a trusted friend or colleague. “Ask her to look at the amount of work you have” and give you an honest opinion “about whether it is too much for one person.”

You might also ask your boss for advice and “coaching on strategies for dealing with overwork,” says Davey. Requesting guidance helps you both clarify expectations and work more efficiently. “Say, ‘It is taking me about five hours a month to prepare this report for the finance department. Is this in line with what you would expect? Do you have any suggestions on how to streamline the process?’” After all, “it’s not as though your boss hasn’t ever felt the exact same way.”

Provide solutions
Having a candid conversation with your manager about your workload requires the right mindset, says Morgenstern. “You are partnering with your boss to fulfill the company’s goals.” She suggests beginning the conversation by “stating the organization’s shared objectives” to ensure that you’re both on the same page. “Then state what’s getting in the way” of you accomplishing the goals. Be as specific as possible. You might say, for instance,

“This assignment requires a lot of research, which is time-consuming,” or, “Now that I am managing a team, I am spending more time planning, and I have less time for day-to-day work.” The next part of the conversation is essential: Offer three ideas for addressing the issue. Don’t go into a problem until you have the solution Morgenstern says. You might, for instance, suggest that certain tasks be done quarterly instead of monthly, that colleagues step in to assist you on a particular project, or that the organization hire a temp to lighten the load. Your goal is to identify “projects that can be delayed, delegated, deleted, or diminished.”

Set priorities
It’s excruciating to have your boss give you yet another assignment when you’re already stretched thin. “Oftentimes they assign work with no idea how long it takes to do each individual task,” says Davey. You should respond by explaining what’s on your plate and then asking, “Which of these is most critical? And how would you prioritize the rest?” Morgenstern recommends asking your boss “to define the level of effort” he expects on certain assignments and “what a maximum, minimum, and moderate effort looks like.” Whatever happens, don’t agree on the spot to anything new if you are unsure whether you can deliver, says Morgenstern. “Say, ‘Tell me what is expected on this and let me figure out if I can do it based on the other projects I am working on. Can I get back to you tomorrow?’ Buy yourself time.”

Offer to help
Even when you have too much to do, it’s both considerate and professionally smart to provide help where you can. The message to your boss, says Davey, should be 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.” You could, for instance, offer to attend brainstorming sessions, read first drafts, or serve as a sounding board. “And then make yourself available,” she says. Offering a small lifeline — even when your bandwidth is constrained — is a way to cement “your identity as the responsible worker committed to the success of the organization,” says Morgenstern.

Be honest
There are times in everyone’s life when tumultuous personal events take precedence over all else. If you’re experiencing one of those periods — your mother has been diagnosed with a serious illness, or your son is having a hard time in school — it’s best to be upfront about it, says Morgenstern. You might tell your boss, “If I ignore this, it will create enormous stress in my family and affect my job performance,” she says. Your tone should be straightforward, and your demeanor should be “grounded and as centered as possible.” Davey agrees:

“Make it situational and make it time-bound.” “Say, ‘This doesn’t happen very often, but the next two weeks are a bit of a tsunami for me. I need help.’” A good, reasonable boss will understand and appreciate your honesty. “Trying to be the hero to the point where you burn yourself out is not the best answer.”

Keep your colleagues close
Telling your boss that you’re overworked doesn’t always have the desired effect. When the boss is unwilling to make changes, Davey recommends giving your teammates “a heads-up” that you’re feeling swamped. “If your boss won’t cut you some slack, they might,” she says. Perhaps they can take something off your plate or work around a delay on your part.

“And even if they can’t help, they’ve at least been given a warning” that you’re overextended and therefore unable to give it your all, and you’ve  “headed off anything that would erode their Trust.” If your boss is continually insensitive to how busy you are, consider it a sign that you may need to move on to a new job, says Morgenstern. Overwork “is not sustainable” in the long run, she says.

Principles to Remember


  • Seek advice from your manager or a coworker on ways to decrease the amount of time you spend on certain assignments.
  • Be upfront about asking if priorities can be shifted or trade-offs can be made.
  • Show a willingness to pitch in by inquiring if there are small ways you can be helpful to colleagues and projects.


  • Be hard on yourself. Turning down a request on occasion or asking for a reprieve doesn’t mean you’re lazy.
  • Say yes to more work on the spot. Buy yourself time by telling your boss you will evaluate your workload and get back to him.
  • Keep your colleagues in the dark when your boss won’t listen. Give them a heads-up when you’re underwater so you don’t erode trust.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tag Cloud

(which was launched in March 2005 and has been used to launch over 2 000 companies including Stripe 000. personal property leases. agreements concerning the purchase 10 Ways to Generate Blog Ideas 401(k) plans 409A valuations 7 Insurtech trends to be aware of in 2021 A company that develops driverless cars Abundant Adarsh Gram Affiliate Marketing on Facebook: 4 Tips to Succeed in 2021 Affiliates Age Matter for startup Agreements or arrangements that provide benefits contingent upon a change in control. The severance or deferred compensation plans (including any salary deferral agreements Airbnb Alphabet Also president and editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency. He urged BRICS media outlets to be aware of the general trend of global development and be “narrators” of the. BRICS story And also agreements relating to the Company’s past stock issuances. Any documents evidencing registration rights for the Company’s also securities And Bylaws. Similar information for the Company and subsidiaries And more. If your startup is an early-stage company that is looking to fund raise in 2020 Angel investment Annual recurring revenue) Antitrust Lawsuit Any determination or opinion letter and Form 5500 filings for the last 3 years. All documents or other information relating to any loans made by the Company to its employees AR/VR ecosystem Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Insurance Landscape Attended the event as co-chairpersons of the forum. In their speeches Augmented Reality Avoid When Seeking Investment Azim Premji University Bahrain Base salary Be proactive Beijing – The fifth presidium meeting of the. BRICS Media Forum was held via video link. Monday Best Business Structure Better leader Bitcoin Blobal market Blockchain technology Branding on Investment BRICS media Building your Brand Business Business cards Business End Goal Business opportunities in Serbia Business Owners Business plans Business Software Now Buyer Personas Capitec launches ‘Scan to Pay’ feature in its app Career myths Certificates of Designation CFO Change Challenge Change is the new Normal Charitable Partnerships Chefrome Classification (including Co-working space Coinbase Commission plan (if applicable) Community-as-a-Service: A Business Model for the 21st Century Compete with Big Companies Content is the key Contracts or proposed transactions to which the Company is a party or by which it is bound which involve obligations of Copper Intensity Copyright Coronavirus Outbreak Corporate entrepreneurship Corporate Multi-nationals Corporate to Start Cost reduction Credit cards Cruise Automation Cryptocurrency Customer Experience Dealing with online hate Definition of Goal Derailing your career Deutsche Telekom Digital India Digital Marketing Digital Marketing Strategies Digitizing your business Diligence Checklist Director of The Hindu Publishing Group of India; and Dr Iqbal Survé Directors Directors or consultants. The Company’s employee handbook. If the Company has any foreign employees Disney Do We Need A New Value-System For Professional Survival In A Post-Pandemic World Don’t Make These 6 Big Mistakes When Starting a Business DoorDash Dubai Dubai opportunity for start-ups Economies Elevate Customer Experience Empathy-Based Marketing Employee Well-being Employment agreements and offer letters with severance benefits or vesting acceleration provisions. Any plans Energy Energy business Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs share their thoughts on the topic Epic Games Etc. Executive chairman of Independent Media of South Africa Executives Facebook Family Business Favour of casual work Fear of failure Feel lost Feeling lost Financial cash flow forecasts Find a job you love Finding a work-from-home job option First deputy editor-in-chief of Russia’s Rossiya Segodnya; Narasimhan Ram Follow the evolution trends of media also and be “leaders” in. Innovative development Follow Your Dream Confidently Game development in marketing Garib Kalyan Yojana Gas Girls in business Global cloth brands Global market Gold Government Great managers way Guide to Hiring Employees Happiness Hard Work Might Not Pay Off Harsh reality and facts of the startup ecosystem He added. Jose Juan Sanchez High Expectations to Live the Life Hire Hobby into a business How Is Automation Able To Help Insurers To Recover In The Pandemic? How Much Do I Raise for My Startup How you plan to grow your business If an employee If any. A corporate entity organizational chart If available. judgment Imperfect Progress Importance of Time Management in the Workplace Including Including employee confidentiality and proprietary information agreements. insurance policies held by the Company or of which the Company is a beneficiary and a summary of such policies Including grant dates and exercise prices. Copies of agreements relating to outstanding options Including issuance dates and original issuance price. A list of the Company’s option holders Including SnapScan and Zapper Including title Including without limitation Incubation Incubator India and South Africa India Oman Business India-Oman Instacart Instruments Investment Investment memos It’s OK to Quit (Your Job) Jobs Joy happy Kids Kind Is Not Always Good for Corporate World Leadership qualities Lease Legal Tech Companies Liens Life is good Like Huckabee CPA Love your job Manage people who are older than you Management Marketing Marketing automation Marketing Teams Microsoft Microsoft invests in Cruise Might Just Change My Life Millennial Mind Morality Impacts Valuation Mortgage Motivated when your business Fails Move Your Shop Online Mumpreneur NDAs Neurodiverse New Jal Shakti Ministry New Job Nice guys finish last Notice of exercise and restricted stock purchase agreement). If the Company sponsors a 401(k) plan Nurturing and Mentoring Talent Office Culture Office Décor Oil Online entrepreneur Or any affiliate thereof Or evidencing any agreements among the Company’s shareholders or between the Company and its shareholders. A summary of the vesting schedules of any stock or options subject to vesting Or outside the ordinary course of business. A list of officers and directors. If any officers are not currently devoting 100 percent of their business time to the Company Or payments to Or strike or other labor dispute. Information Regarding Employees and Employee · Benefits A list of the Company’s employees and consultants Or sublease of real property. Any documents evidencing indebtedness for money borrowed or any other liabilities incurred by the Company. Any documents evidencing any mortgages Order Pandemic Pandemic ready Patents Pension plans and insurance plans. So forms of agreements used in connection with any stock option plans. (such as a form of option agreement Person You Wanted to be as a Kid Petrocrats Please note them on this list. Information Regarding Disputes and Potential Litigation Any correspondence or documents relating to any pending or threatened action Power Powering African Countries PRASAD Scheme President of Brazil’s CMA Group; Sergey Kochetkov Private Fund Data Operations Production Promotion Proof of tax compliance Proprietary information or technology Public relationship Publishers Grow Purpose-led Qualities of a good mentor Quitter Reaching Goals Recently the well known startup incubator /seed accelerator Ycombinator Recruitment Relationship and marketing Remote Work Resilience as a business leader Revenue Capture Reviving the economy and building a community with a shared future Rights Rights (including conversion or preemptive rights) or agreements for the purchase or acquisition of any of the Company’s securities Russia Safe Path Said. He Samarjit Mitra Saudi Arabia Scale of personality School term Select an idea SEO SEO strategy Separately list (by country) all benefits provided to foreign employees. Of course Skill India Small Business Small Business Owners Small businesses SMART CITY- A Step Into the Future Smart phone Smuggling Sony Electronics Announces New Airpeak S1 Professional Drone Sowing future growth Start-up India Start-Ups Starting Your Own Street Food Business Startup Startup Fails Startup Fundraising Startups Stay relevant and grow Stock market Stock option plans Stocks Stop Comparing Your Life with Others Stress in business Stressed At Work Structural Readjustments Required in B-Schools Structuring Investment Subrata Chattopadhay Successful Contingency planning for Business Suit or proceeding or investigation Taking money from an investor and on any terms cannot hurt Target bonus (if applicable) Tax computations The Company in excess of $25 They expressed the hope to further deepen the cooperation among. BRICS media Toxic Workplace Tracking SARS-COV-2 Variants of Concern Trade secret or other proprietary rights Trademarking Turn your sales UAE Labour Law: All You Wanted to Know About Leaves Understanding Understandings or proposed transactions between the Company and any of its officers Unified Mobile Application Union representation Unknown and Unplanned Vaccine Rollout Values back on track VC Virtual Marketing Virtual reality VR Wages Warrants Washington State Recruits Starbucks to Help With Its Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout We suggest working with an experienced startup-focused accounting firm Well before your startup is in the due diligence phase of an important fund raising or m&A transaction. What Do LPs Think of the Venture Capital Markets: What financial metrics/benchmarks do VCs look at (such as ARR What Is Working Capital What VCs Really Look For Whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt) and state of residence. The Company’s standard form of offer letter. Any agreements Whether written or oral Why Business Angels do not invest Why practising good self-care is a recipe for Success With employees or consultants). Such employee benefit plans With members also pledging joint efforts. To improve the forum mechanism also and step up post.-Covid-19 exchanges and cooperation among BRICS media. In the fight against Covid-19 Without limitation Women in business Women mean business Workers Working Capital World Embraces Phygital World leader summit World of the Red Gem Writ or decree by which the Company is bound or to which it is a party. standard forms of agreements used by the Company. joint venture and partnership agreements. management You should be thinking about preparing a due diligence materials which includes financial documents such as P&L statements You’re Overworked Your cap table and more. Other documents to be retained will include incorporation and constitutional documents (that evidence legal ownership

© All Rights Reserved.