How to Ask Your Boss to Lighten Your Load—Without Looking Like a Slacker

I wrote something for The Muse, a career advice and job search site, about how to deal when you’re feeling overwhelmed and overloaded at work. Here’s a sneak peek:

A couple of months ago, I had what I thought was a good (OK, great) story idea that I pitched to my editor: 50 states, 50 gorgeous hikes. It would be a beautiful slideshow that I thought would generate a decent amount of traffic. My boss loved it and gave me the green light. Then, I started reaching out to the media contacts for various state tourism bureaus. Very shortly, my clever idea turned into a logistical nightmare—and a total time suck. Hounding dozens of media contacts for the information and photos I needed—while staying on top of my daily to-do list—turned out to be much more difficult than I’d anticipated. I felt like I was drowning.

Maybe you’ve experienced a similar situation, in which you inadvertently created an incredibly time-consuming project for yourself. Or maybe your boss loads you up with an onslaught of assignments without a clear concept of what’s actually doable by the requested deadline. Either way, it can be difficult to tell your supervisor that you feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to impress him or her. Luckily, I found a way out of my situation (unfortunately, not until after I’d been stressing about it for a couple of weeks): I suggested that, instead of waiting several more weeks to create a slideshow with all 50 states—some of which had submitted subpar photos—we should instead create a curated selection of truly must-try hikes, all of which would have breathtaking photos (and that could go up within the next few days).

To keep reading and get more tips on how to ask your boss to lighten your load without looking like a slacker, visit The Muse!

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photo via The Muse


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