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Five ways to tell your boss you have too much work

Published: Wednesday 23rd December 2020

You feel like you have too much on your plate, you may even be feeling overwhelmed. Your month is already jam-packed with several tasks and different projects. You’re totally swamped, but you feel like you can’t tell your boss you have too much work because they may think you’re lazy or risk your upcoming promotion.

Each time you go into your next team meeting, you’re wondering what’ll be dropped into your lap next. But being overwhelmed because there’s genuinely too much on your plate is not going to win you any medals. In fact, have you thought that it may damage your career? Being over-committed, exhausted and dealing with extreme pressure can lead to sloppy mistakes, poor quality of work or even failing to deliver tasks on time. The answer is simple! You simply need a more reasonable workload.

Voice your concerns – tell your boss you have too much work

Many bosses and line managers won’t realise you’re overworked until you voice your concerns. After all, they are probably not keeping long lists of every assignment and weekly tasks. That means it is very likely that unless you speak up to help change things up, your plate will keep overflowing.

Employee and boss speaking about something personal while standing near office window.

To help you deal with this we have gathered our top five tips to address the fact that you simply have too much work and voice your concerns to your boss.

Tip 1: Gather information & be specific if you have too much work

Presenting a clear picture of what’s on your plate will help you and your manager figure out how to best support you and get the work completed. Gather information and make a list by keeping a note of your weekly tasks to support your concerns, once you get the chance to express them.

Tip 2: Talk about your deadlines

Discuss with your boss if there are any project deadlines that can be extended. Prepare for the talk by gathering details on why you can’t meet the deadline, reprioritise and decide on a new date. Avoid using excuses. Instead, focus on solutions and offer a new, reasonable deadline that you’re confident you can meet.

Tip 3: Ask for support

corporate business team, colleagues talk during group briefing, focused diverse colleagues brainstorm concept.

Being overwhelmed with tasks could mean you may need some support in completing it. Think about who in your team could help you with it to get the work done. Being part of a team, it’s important that your colleagues can support you and have your back.

Tip 4: Give regular reports

Reporting regularly on your work progress will help you ensure that your boss is aware of what you are focused on. Moreover, this will show them how committed you are and as a result, they will be even more supportive and show more understanding.

Tip 5: Tell your boss you have too much work & stay positive

Learn the art of saying no to more work politely, if you’re already struggling. Keep it positive and use a tone that will emphasise your devotion to the company, rather than one the will show your frustration.

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