Work Stress: Boss Gives More Work Than I Can Handle
One of the most usual occurrences in a work place are the work load, stress, night outs, over times, feeling burdened, and a lot more. Most people even talk about a nervous breakdown cos they are not able to handle the pressure.
If you realize it is taking a toll on you and your boss is not able to understand it or relate to it, how do you tell him that it is going beyond your strength. Here are a few thoughts that might help.
1) Why is he offering so much of work in the first place?
Is it because there is so much of pressure on the project and the deadlines are near and you have to make it work considering the urgency. Is it because he is expecting you to rise up to the occasion and deliver more cos he trusts you and knows that you are very capable.
Is it because he knows that you are a very reliable asset to the company and he is trying to promote you.
Try asking him that, an understanding of the situation helps you replace frustration with sympathy towards his situation and it is certainly a better emotion to work with.
2) Is it becoming too hard for you to handle?
I do understand that there are a lot of priorities, some personal, some official, some social and a lot more. And it is not the easiest thing to be juggling with so many things at once and to add to this, the work pressure is getting on to you and becoming a little unbearable.
Try explaining it to him and see if there is a way a reasonable conversation can happen through this. What you are trying to do here is to tell him your side of the story and as to why it is becoming difficult for you.How you can best address it, maybe through some guidance, maybe having one more person help you on this, how this could be addressed faster and more efficiently through collaboration.
The idea is that you offer him a solution, this makes him understand that you are not looking to shirk work, but you are looking at finishing it faster and even more efficiently. There is not much he can scoff at you for this.
3) What if he doesn’t budge even then?
Well if he is being hostile and he is being conspicuously so, we can try and access the good side of his.
Try and make a list of all the things you have to do that week and also include a few from the personal side as well, like going out to meet family after work hours, finding a spouse for yourself, meeting some old friends, a business transaction you have to take care of.
I understand it is none of his business to know, but let him know anyway, this way, he will get to know what all you are sacrificing to get this work done.
We are appealing for his good side to come through and I do agree it is a long shot, but a worthy one.
4) What if he doesn’t care about the list?
Well, if he is too stubborn and says it is only about the things you are given to handle, then make a list of the things or the projects you are expected to do.
Make a timeline of how much time you think each one of them needs and how much exactly it is overshooting. Let him know that you don’t mind slogging extra for a few days but it is tiring you out and reducing your efficiency thus acting against you instead of for.
Ask him which ones you need to prioritize in order to fill the time scale – as in which project should take the backseat over the other.
However please make sure all of this is in mail, you will need it during your performance review meeting.
Your bosses are smart. They will make an issue out of this, make sure your bases are covered.
5) Talk about reduced efficiency.
Tell him that all of this is reducing your efficiency and instead making it all the more hard for you to complete projects. And in essence it is taking more time than it would have if individually spaced out.
Tell him that you understand that they are all priority but the costs are too high. I know it sounds like you are digging your own grave, but look at the bigger picture –
Why are you going to work in the first place?
Not to feel bullied or burdened. Not just to earn money, it is the sense of attainment and satisfaction that drives you and the rest are perks along with it. Make him understand that.
I know it sounds as though you are digging your own grave, but look at the bigger picture, you are far more important and bigger than the job or the company or your boss, try to sink that in. I agree that perks are amazing and they make a big difference but not at the cost of your own mental set up. You have to like what you do and if it is making you hate what you are doing, you are entitled to tell it to him. And if he doesn’t budge, you can take it over to his manager but make sure that you have enough proof. You don’t want to seem like the person who shirks work to your boss let alone your manager!
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