Overworked? Five ways to tell your boss you have too much on your plate

If you are putting extra long hours at work and your to-do list is mounting, chances are you are overworked. Inability to devote adequate time and attention to your tasks can make you feel stressed and even impact your performance. It’s important to convey this your boss.

ET’s Brinda Dasgupta brings you suggestions from experts on how to tell your boss that you have too much on your platter without sounding that you are whining.

1. Be objective
If you are a good and consistent performer and can push back some work due to work pressure, it won’t show any effect on you. “The key is to be objective and fair in your evaluation of the workload, said Saba Adil, chief people officer at Aegon Life Insurance. “Although it may seem overwhelming, bosses feel comforted when their employees are transparent about their work pressure, emotions at work and support that they seek,” she added.

2. Be a solution seeker
One golden rule: don’t whine about your workload, while telling your employer. It is better to give constructive suggestions instead. “You can discuss possible interventions and support with your boss. This will help you manage timelines without impacting quality,” said Adil.

3. Rethink the priorities
Having too much work can be stressful, especially when the work keeps piling on. Just take a deep breadth and make a list of projects you are working on and tasks that need your immediate attention and time it need for completion.“Consulting with your manager on priority listing gives the message that there is too much on your plate,” Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR Services said.

4. Give regular reports
Giving regular reports about how your work is progressing conveys to your manager what you are focused on. “Ask your manager for periodical review sessions, even if he’s not asked for it. Also it is perfectly all right to highlight areas where you are feeling overstretched,” Arsh Maini, CEO of Candela Labs said.

5. Don’t say yes immediately
Learn the subtle art of saying no to more work if you are already struggling with your workload. You can always buy a little time by telling your manager you need to evaluate your workload. “It’s not only about Intelligence Quotient (IT), equally important is Emotional Quotient (EQ) and how one works with colleagues and seniors,” said Maini.

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