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Tell your boss you’re overwhelmed

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

When you’re overloaded, you have two choices: work more stressful, 12-hour days or create a plan to tell your boss that enough is enough. Here’s how to stand up for yourself with tact and professionalism:

  • Make a list. Put all of your tasks down on paper and include their deadlines.
  • Create time estimates. Estimate the amount of time each project will take. Point out tasks and deadlines that overlap, and show when there aren’t enough available hours to complete both.
  • Have a meeting. Give a copy of your list to your manager and let him or her know that you are overloaded. Ask for a solution, such as reassigning some of your items to others, adjusting deadlines or ceasing new assignments for now.
  • Plan for the future. Agree upon a plan for the future. Perhaps a weekly check-in would make your boss more aware of what’s on your plate.

— Adapted from “How to Tell Your Boss You Are Overwhelmed,” Cynthia Measom,

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