How to Talk to Your Manager About Feeling Overwhelmed

The United States is a world leader, but unfortunately, there’s one category we lead in that isn’t something you want to put on a trophy. According to Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace report, American workers are among the most stressed in the world. A survey by ComPsych found that 63% of respondents suffer from high levels of stress, frequently feeling fatigued and out of control. And the leading cause of stress? The size of their workload.

So, what do you do when you reach a point when you’re juggling so much that you’re not sure if you’re coming or going? Among the first things you should do is talk with your manager. That might seem like a recipe for even more stress, so here are some tips on how to approach that conversation:

Pick the Right Time and Place

Timing is key. You don’t want to catch your manager in the middle of a hectic day or during a big meeting. Instead, schedule a time when you can have their full attention, preferably in a private setting where you can speak openly.

Be Honest and Specific

When you sit down with your manager, be honest about how you’re feeling. Don’t beat around the bush; instead, be specific about the tasks and responsibilities that are overwhelming you. This will help your manager understand the gravity of the situation and come up with solutions.

Focus on Solutions

Speaking of solutions, it’s important to approach the conversation with a problem-solving mindset. Instead of just venting about your workload, think about potential solutions or compromises that could help alleviate some of the pressure. Whether it’s delegating tasks, adjusting deadlines, or rearranging priorities, having some ideas in mind shows that you’re proactive and committed to finding a resolution.

Provide Examples

Sometimes, it’s hard for managers to fully grasp the extent of your workload unless you provide concrete examples. Share specific instances where you felt overwhelmed or struggled to meet deadlines. This will help paint a clearer picture and underscore the need for action.

Communicate Your Limits

It’s okay to set boundaries and communicate your limits. Let your manager know what you can realistically handle without sacrificing the quality of your work or your well-being. Remember, it’s better to speak up now than to burn out later.

Express Appreciation

Ending the conversation on a positive note is always a good idea. Express your appreciation for your manager’s willingness to listen and support you. Acknowledge that you understand they have their own challenges to manage and that you’re grateful for their assistance in finding a solution.

Follow Up

After your initial conversation, be sure to follow up with your manager to see if any progress has been made or if there are any updates. This shows that you’re committed to finding a resolution and that you value open communication.

Need a Change of Scenery?

If you take these steps but find you’re still struggling to keep your head above water, you may need to take more drastic action. If you’re looking for an escape plan, talk to the employment experts at Arrow Staffing Resources. We work hard to match candidates with the best opportunities for them. Start your job search here.

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