In this economy and recession, the most common comment I hear among co-workers and friends is “I am too overloaded with work, but how can I tell my boss that it is too much?” This is a tough question. Most people are worried that if they tell their boss that they can’t handle the workload that they will be seen as inadequate and that you can’t handle this job. Even though there is a possibility of this, most involved bosses should know how much is on your plate and what the realistic workload is. My definition of an involved boss, is a boss who is involved with your work enough to know what you do, how well you do it, and how long it should roughly take. If you have an involved boss then they will already know that you have too much work before you even approach them. However, if you have an uninvolved boss, this is a great opportunity to work together to create a manageable workload and make him aware of how much is on your plate. It is important to note, however, that you need to be careful with how you approach this issue. Here are a few tips to help you begin this communication:
Tip #1– Don’t go in complaining that you have too much work and can’t handle it. Approach it as more of a “How can I improve processes to reduce the amount of time and work involved?” Or “Is there anything that you think I can change to help make the workload more manageable?” Make it about improving yourself and that will get a much more positive reaction.
Tip #2- Approach your boss with some possible solutions to make the workload manageable, but be careful not to suggest that it should just be moved to someone else (they most likely have a similar work load already as well). However, if you suspect that there might be someone else that might have some time to help out of take over part of the load, you can simply as “Is there anyone else that might have time to assist was some of these projects?”
Tip #3- Carefully look at your work and see if you have the appropriate prioritization approach to the projects or tasks you have to accomplish. Are there some tasks that can wait till later? Or are there large projects or tasks that can be broken down into smaller pieces so that they are more manageable and less intimidating.
It comes down to the fact that no one likes to ask for help, but if you are overloaded or on the verge of burnout, you have not helping yourself or the company. When overloaded and burned out you are less productive and efficient, thus actually accomplishing less than if you were not overloaded. Try not to stress as much about how much is on your plate and concentrate on how to tackle you plate in a productive and efficient manner. Communicating with your boss is crucial and should not be forgotten.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of topics that you would like me to discuss in the future, or would like me to expand on any of my previous topics, please use the comment section below!