Good advice for how to have a candid conversation on a perennial problem! I’m passing along the HBR tip of the day from this week in case you missed it!
Tell Your Boss You Have Too Much Work Without Looking Like a Slacker
No one wants to come across as lazy, uncommitted, or not a team player, but when you feel snowed under, you really should let your manager know. Have a candid conversation. Start by stating the organization’s shared objectives to ensure you’re both on the same page. Next, explain what’s getting in the way of you accomplishing those goals. Be as specific as possible. You might say: “This assignment requires a lot of research, which is time-consuming” or “Now that I am managing a team, I am spending more time planning, and I have less time for day-to-day work.” But don’t stop there — offer three ideas for addressing the issue. You might suggest that certain tasks be done quarterly instead of monthly, that colleagues step in to assist you on a particular project, or that the organization hire a temp to lighten the load. Identify projects that can be delayed, delegated, deleted, or diminished without compromising your team and organizational goals.
Adapted from “How to Tell Your Boss You Have Too Much Work,” by Rebecca Knight