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Overworked can lead to feeling overwhelmed. While you may love your job, you may want more from life such as time with your family, friends or hobbies -- the things you work for. Scarce resources can leave everyone overwhelmed and unaware of someone else's situation. Before you snap, find your calm and let your boss know exactly what is on your plate.
Time It Right
Out of the blue is not the right time to tell your boss. A subject this serious deserves some planning. You want to build your case and present it at a time when you are calm and collected, and your boss has time to listen. Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss your workload. Keep your attitude positive. Assess your situation and the possibility that you could be at the root of the problem. Rule out procrastination, poor time management and lack of skill before you bring the issue to your boss for help.
Ask For Help
Even if it feels like you are the only one working hard, it is better to assume that others are working just as hard. Avoid complaining. Tell your boss how much you value your job. Ask for guidance. Meet with your boss and ask for help to prioritize and manage your workload. Share the amount of time you are investing and the mounting responsibilities that await you each day. Put your boss in the driver's seat -- ask her for ideas or solutions. You might already know how the problem could be solved, but it is better if your boss thinks it is her idea.
Once you have told your boss about your workload, remain in frequent and regular communication. Discuss your workload weekly if possible. Keeping your boss in the loop and invested in a solution should work to your favor. Your boss will become aware of how much you do and can help you prioritize things. She also has the power to reassign tasks if she agrees you have too much work.
Avoid Comparing or Blaming
No matter what you think you know, or what you think you see, avoid blaming your colleagues or comparing workloads. As soon as you start playing this game, someone is going to lose and it could be you. If you think a colleague has too much free time while your plate is too full, ask him to help you with something. But avoid accusing him of not working. This will only make the workplace more stressful and create new problems. Your workload is something that should be resolved between you and your boss -- keep the rest of the office out of it.
- SunSentinel: Talking To Your Boss About Easing Your Workload
- Harvard Business School: Understaffed and Overworked -- Now What?
- Supporting Safer Healthcare: How To Tell Your Boss You’re Overworked
- Boston.com: Overworked? Here's How to Deal
- CIO: How to Talk to Your Boss About Being Overworked
- The New York Times: It's Not Mount Everest, It's My Workload
Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.