Staffing Resources


How to Talk to Your Boss When You’re Over-Stressed and Over-Worked

May 26th, 2017

I try to be a good employee. I’m responsible, punctual, and professional. So why is my boss punishing me by sticking me with extra work?

Have you ever felt this way? Sadly, many of the best employees end up becoming burned out because their bosses rely on them too much. If you’re feeling over-stressed and overworked, first of all, realize that it may simply be that your boss trusts you with their most difficult projects. But while knowing this may be a nice boost to your ego, it doesn’t solve the problem. You have to learn how to approach your boss and tell them that you are feeling over-worked. The question is, how?

Choosing the Right Time to Speak Up

Don’t wait too long to speak up. Otherwise, the next time your boss asks for a small favor, you could end up snapping, “Can’t you see how busy I am?!” That’s not the way to handle this situation. Instead, you should choose a quiet moment (if there is such a thing!) during the day to approach your boss. Or, even better, schedule a meeting with them.

Be Prepared – Have a Plan

When you sit down with your manager, don’t just rattle off a list of complaints. Don’t compare your own workload to your workmates’. And don’t put your boss on the defensive by throwing blame around. Instead, come prepared and have some ideas in mind on how to solve the problem.

Before your meeting, write down a list of your essential job duties – things that are part of your official job description. Then write down a second list with a summary of the “extra” tasks your boss has assigned you. Go through both lists and write down how much of your day is spent on each task. This can help you to show your boss that you aren’t being lazy, you really are over-worked.

Productivity expert and author of Never Check E-mail in the Morning, Julie Morgenstern says that you should “never go to your boss with a problem unless you have a solution.” With that in mind, here are some other things to think about before meeting with your boss:

  • How your workload is affecting your performance

  • How your customers, coworkers, and other departments are affected by your being overloaded

  • How to lighten your workload without burdening others

Telling your boss, “I’m overworked” is never easy. But by being realistic, preparing ahead of time, and offering solutions, it can be done successfully. Good bosses want to help their employees to be happy at work. If, after all this, your boss still expects too much from you, it may be time to consider finding a new job. Search Gwinnett County jobs to see what your options are!

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