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How to Tell the Boss About Workload

  • 30th Dec'21

Workload management is one of the critical topics during the team meeting discussions, especially one that happens between the leaders and the upper management. They will decide based on various factors such as past work quality and efficiency and assign tasks to their employees. But what happens after the work distribution and target allotments is where the problem can occur. Workload overwhelm can occur since most employees don't know how to say no to assigned work.

For most employees, discussing extra work has always remained a sort of taboo subject. Many never deny extra work assigned to them in fear of gaining a bad reputation. Also, some simply take it up to showcase their loyalty and dependence on the company. But here is a thing, despite how passionate you are about your work or job, you will face burnout. Also, the additional workload can harm your mental well-being. But I've learned my lesson that our well-being must always remain our priority. After all the hard work, only getting sick doesn't make much sense, right?

The good thing is today, many have understood the significance of excess workload. Most, in fact, even want to avoid getting overwhelmed by the workload. However, you don't know how to bring this topic up for discussion. Hence, I bring some simple and effective ways to tell the boss your workload is too much. Let's take a look.

When to Tell Your Boss You Have Too Much Work 

You are overwhelmed by your workload, and it is essential to acknowledge this and schedule a conversation with your boss to tell him how you are feeling. For example, if you are working on several projects and are responsible for meeting their deadlines, it can be challenging to devote the time and attention required to take on the extra workload. If you let your boss know and ask for assistance, you can find ways to get the job done on time and in the best possible way. Otherwise, you can still use the opportunity to address the overwhelming amount of work. Hence, you must look forward to discussing your project assignments with your boss. It can help you find ways to reduce your workload. and increase your productivity.

Steps to Tell the Boss Your Workload is Too Much

Still, if anyone finds it difficult to talk about your overwhelming working condition, then here is a step-down approach you can apply to convey the message to your leader or manager.


Step 1: Seek Advice

Seek some advice before talking to your manager about your workload from someone you trust. A second opinion can be very insightful, be it from a coworker, family member, or friend. You can even try to get a second opinion from yourself. Ask questions like "Is this schedule realistic?" and "Am I managing my time right?" The goal is to challenge yourself and gain a stranger's perspective to see if you are really overworked. Sometimes the unfortunate fact is that you just have to work harder than you'd like to maintain work-life integration. If you are overworked at the end of such honest conversations, discuss ways to fix the problem yourself. If you've already tried all of the tricks you could have, and nothing worked, then move on to "Step 2."


Step 2: Have an Honest Sit-down

Suppose you've achieved the whole lot you could to relieve your immoderate workload. However, nevertheless drowning in assignments, it is time to talk with your leader or manager. Schedule a one-on-one meeting and prepare for it. To prepare, define your listing of assignments and tasks. During this meeting, be sincere and seek guidance. Ask your leader or manager to help you prioritize your work and possibly take off.


Step 3: Re-evaluate Your Time

Some of your tasks can consume a lot of your time. So you must constantly re-evaluate your time and try to conclude how much time is an optimum time to complete a task. Should it take two days to create this monthly spreadsheet? If so, great. If not, reconsider your strategy. Ask, "What do you suggest they do instead? If your company prefers meetings, take some time to check your calendar and address recurring meetings. Do you find these meetings beneficial? Do you contribute? Are you the one? Right? If not, check if someone else can attend the meeting in your place and so on. However, if steps 2 and 3 don't work, look at the next step.


Step 4: Prioritize Your List of Work Assignments

At this point, you must have made a list of your work assignments. If you have not then, I suggest you do it immediately. Plan to check the list every day and replace it every day or weekly. And whenever your employer assigns you any extra work, re-evaluate the list. See whether you can fit in work. If you can evaluate where on the list and how much time it will take. If you cannot, politely discuss your worklist to suggest that you won't take any extra assignments for now.


Step 5: Learn to Say "No"

Learning to say no doesn't necessarily mean you go on a "No," saying spree to everything and anything that your leader or manager asks you to do. Your ability to say "No" to work or assignment must reflect the state of your work schedule and not your individual preference. Understand that you work in a corporation that relies heavily on team contribution rather than unique genius. You should always have the ability to say "No" to an assignment. However, it would be best if you only used it as a last resort after trying all the other steps to eliminate the extra work or assignments.  


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