Is it time to tell your boss you’re overworked?

What’s the difference between being busy and having too much on your plate? Sometimes we get so used to being busy that it becomes the norm but is it time to take a step back and reassess our workload?

Here are a few steps you can take to manage the situation.

1. Learn the difference between busy and overworked

Unfortunately, some employees will continue with a workload beyond their capacity for fear of looking like they are not competent. However, there is a difference between being busy and so busy that it’s affecting you personally and most likely the quality of your work. Not every manager will be able to identify if your workload is appropriate, so it will be up to you to speak up. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. A good employee/manager relationship will ultimately come down to good communication.

2. Stocktake – review your tasks, deadlines, and resources

Take 15 minutes to write down all you need to do, the timeframe for each task, and what resources you have. Once you map it out, you will be able to see any deadline overlaps, resource gaps, and the volume of output required against the time you work. There’s nothing wrong with being busy, but workloads should be realistic and manageable. If you’re finding it hard to keep up, having to put in a lot of extra hours, and are feeling like the workload is out of control – it’s time to stop and take stock.

3. Share your stocktake plan with your manager

Now you should have a clear idea of what’s on your list and where the gaps are. This is going to make the conversation with your manager far more productive. It will enable you to work together to identify what resources and support you may need, what can be delegated to another team member, and a plan of action.

Keeping the lines of communication with your manager is always going to make the workplace better. Remember that even though you may think it’s evident that you’re overloaded, it may not be as obvious to others.