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While the occasional heavy workload is typically manageable, if you’re feeling overwhelmed for days on end, that’s damaging to your mental health. While speaking up and discussing the situation with your manager is daunting, it’s a necessity if you want to regain some level of control. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

If your mental health is suffering because of an unmanageable workload, here’s how to tell your manager that you’re overwhelmed.

Identify the Source of the Problem

Before you do anything else, it’s wise to reflect on the situation for a moment to determine what’s overwhelming you. Often, you can get a solid idea by asking a few key questions.

Has your workload increased recently? Are you making up for an underperforming team member? Is the company short-staffed? Were their recent changes regarding how a task has to be done, making it more cumbersome? Are personal challenges making your workload uncharacteristically hard to bear?

By understanding why you’re overwhelmed, you’ll have an easier time explaining the situation to your manager. Plus, it may make finding solutions together simpler.

Consider Potential Solutions

Now that you know why you’re having trouble, consider what may need to change to fix your situation. If you can present a potential solution after outlining your struggles, you give your manager insights into how they can improve your situation. Plus, if what you request isn’t an option, it can still serve as a springboard for a discussion.

Schedule a Meeting

Generally, this is a conversation that should happen privately and in person. Schedule a meeting with your manager to have the discussion. You can let them know that you’re struggling when you reach out to schedule the appointment, or you can keep things initially discreet. In any case, let them know it’s a workload discussion.

Be Straightforward

When you meet with your manager, it’s best to be upfront about the situation. Let them know that you’re feeling overwhelmed. Then, discuss the source of the issue openly, using a fact-based approach to keep the tone neutral.

Once you’ve covered the nature of the issue, move on to your potential solution. After that, you’ll need to wait for your manager’s reply to see what comes next.

Remain Openminded

In some cases, your manager may agree that the option you presented is viable. If not, then ask them to outline what they believe is a plausible solution. In some cases, it may differ from your original thought significantly. However, it could still be effective, so make sure you remain open as the conversation moves forward.

Recognize That “No” Is a Possibility

While many managers will try to improve your situation, understand that the outcome may not come out in your favor. Your manager may have no pathway for reducing your workload or making other changes. If that’s the case, you’ll need to decide if this is a job you can keep shouldering or if it’s time to move on to something new.

Need Help Finding a New Job?

If you feel a new job is your best bet for regaining balance, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us to learn more about our openings today.


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