• Being overworked isn’t good for you, your boss or the company
  • Build your case on your unsustainable high workload
  • Bring solutions to your manager to reduce workload and/or get more help
We've all been there. The never-ending to-do list, the back-to-back meetings, the overtime hours that go unnoticed and unappreciated. Every day it’s the same chaotic bullshit. You’re scrambling on your manager’s last-minute requests, putting out fires, following up on urgent tasks and trying to keep your head above water.

When it gets really bad, you feel like quitting because you don’t get paid enough to deal with this kind of workload and would rather find another job in the company or elsewhere that’s less demanding for the same amount of pay.

There was a time, way back when things weren’t like this. You were actually able to manage work stress on a daily basis. But now, the workload has compounded. You feel like you’ve become a modern-day office slave working in a digital sweatshop. You are run down and burnt out.

You desperately want to tell your boss that you’re overworked to the max and approaching the breaking point. But how do you tell your boss that you're feeling overworked without coming across as whiny or entitled? 

How To Convey You’re Overworked Without Coming Across Like A Whiner

The simple solution to all of this is to tell your boss that you can’t handle the excessive workload and that it needs to be cut back. It sounds simple enough but it’s not easy to do because it does have an impact on your image.

Telling your boss that you’re overworked without any background or basis will make you look like a whiny complainer, which you don’t want. You have a personal brand to uphold and maintain.

You gotta use logic, data and evidence to support your request.

Start With The Facts

When speaking with your boss, it's important to stick to the facts - no bullshit lies or exaggerations. Avoid emotional language and focus on concrete examples of your workload. You gotta do this like a scientist or an investigator.

Are you consistently working more than 40 hours a week in overtime?

Are you forced to take on tasks that aren't part of your responsibilities?

Is important shit falling through the cracks?

Share specific examples of the tasks that are overwhelming you and show how they're impacting your ability to be productive and more importantly, how this is negatively impacting the company’s progress on key goals and initiatives.

Be Solution Focused

There’s nothing more annoying to your manager when employees do nothing but complain. This is one of the bad habits that kill your chances of promotion. However, those who present possible solutions to problems are the ones that are valued and respected more.

When presenting your concerns, provide potential solutions that would alleviate your workload. For example, suggest ways that tasks could be delegated or prioritized differently. Make it clear that you're still committed to working hard and contributing to the team's success, but you need help to do so effectively.

Be Diplomatic

It's important to keep a positive attitude and tone when speaking with your manager. Nobody likes Negative Nancys. Avoid blamestorming or criticizing others. Instead, focus on how you can work together to find a solution and achieve your shared goals. Make it clear that your intention is to improve the productivity and quality of your work.

When you can show balanced diplomacy, it automatically makes you more credible and you come across as being a reasonable and hard-working person and not an irrational nutcase slacker that just bitches all the time.

Use Relateable Data 

If you're feeling overworked, chances are your workload has increased without proportional support. Just telling your boss that you’re overworked is just hearsay and anecdotal because there’s no proof behind it.

You gotta back up your claims with real and relatable data. This will solidify your claims with evidence. It lays the groundwork and foundation for holding up your proposal for changes.

Show the reports, data inputs, key grunt work and other tasks that you couldn’t get to and how it’s impacted their or other’s workflows and/or caused “X” days of delays. And when these delays compound, they directly impact product launches, revenues and profits. In other words, it hits the bottom line.

Follow Up Until It’s Resolved

After having the conversation, make sure to follow up with your boss via email to keep documenting things - kinda like CYA emails. You don’t want this to be brushed under the rug or put on the back burner. You have to continually follow up with your boss on this because if you don’t and it fades, then they’ll take it as not being a problem anymore.

Reiterate your concerns and the solutions you presented. Outline any agreed-on next steps and timeline for implementation. Make sure you're both on the same page and have a clear understanding of what is expected moving forward - whether it’s re-prioritized workload and/or getting additional resources like temp help or another teammate helping out.

Winning Not Whining For Success

You value your job, even though at times, it can be pretty shitty. There are good days and bad days. It’s not like you hate your job, but when you’re overworked to the max constantly, you begin to wonder if it’s worth all the stress it brings.

You end up moaning and venting at work and even complaining to HR about it. It will get to the point where you’ll want to tell your boss about it too. And when you do, you gotta be smart about how you do it.

It's natural to feel nervous about approaching your boss with concerns about your workload. However, by sticking to the facts and presenting potential solutions, you can have an honest conversation that is productive and positive.

Remember that your manager may not be aware of your workload and the stress it's causing you. By having a solution-focused conversation, you can work together to find a solution that benefits you, your manager and the company.

So get in the zone and get your shit together now and start that conversation. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll get to a better, happier and more productive state.

Feel Better,

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