It is no secret that we’re always eager to please, especially at work. Whether in search of a promotion, or just job satisfaction, we’ve all been guilty of taking on too many tasks at once. Alongside your day-to-day tasks, you help ease the workload of your colleagues, and take on that extra project for your boss.
But if you’re finding yourself unable to complete the tasks, failing to meet deadlines, and losing out on promotions; perhaps it is time you learnt to say “no”. Not to your ‘proper job’, but to the extras you take on in your eagerness to please.
Saying “no” doesn’t have to be something to stress over. After all, we find it easy to say “no” to our children all the time! If you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, and you’re not sure what to do, this article is for you. Here, we will teach you the art of saying “no” to your boss:
Create a Task List
At the beginning of each month, create a list of all the tasks and projects you have to complete. Write down what needs to be done, the expected results, and how long you estimate them taking. Prioritize these tasks with your manager, making sure the most important tasks are completed ahead of schedule.
If you can see gaps in your time, you’ll be able to take on extra tasks. If not, now is the time to say no. Speak to your manager at this point and admit if you have taken on too much, so you can discuss what tasks are the most important. Your manager will be more aware of impending deadlines and will know which projects you have more leeway on.
Once you’ve identified what tasks need to be completed and marked your top priorities, you then need to learn to manage your time. Mark on a calendar when each deadline is, and plan your time accordingly. If you have multiple tasks due at the same time, make sure you leave enough time to work on both.
As you come to the end of your task list, you can then consider taking on extra projects. Only if you know you have the time to complete these. Managing your time is all about focusing on the important and larger projects, without rushing and neglecting smaller ones. Block out time to focus on your work first, saying “yes” to extra work once your projects are completed.
Communication is Key
Agreeing with your manager on your tasks is important for both of you. It leaves you free to work uninterrupted, and keeps them updated on your progress. Track your progress with your project list and don’t be afraid to say that you’re behind.
Your manager will prefer you being honest to failing to complete the project. As you near the end of your tasks, you can then ask for extra work to avoid you sitting there with nothing to do. Colleagues are always willing to help each other out, so long as their main tasks are completed first.
Saying “no” to your boss doesn’t have to be daunting, and they will surely appreciate your honesty. As long as you demonstrate your present workload, and aren’t rejecting tasks to be lazy, you will remain focused and a valued member of the team. if you’re really struggling, there are a whole host of assertive training courses you can go on.