Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper

Overburdened with work? How you can smartly say ‘NO’ to your senior

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Weekend Plus Desk :
How to say ‘no’ politely at the workplace when you are overburdened with work
Have you stayed back in the office and slogged for hours just because your manager piled you with extra work and you could not gather the guts to say ‘no’? Well, we understand your position.
Saying ‘no’ to your manager for extra work surely does not help to create a great impression. But there are days when you are already neck-deep in work and it is really not possible to take on more tasks. To help you navigate your way through such situations, here's how you can smartly refuse to take that extra work without being labelled ‘lazy’ or ‘irresponsible.’
Give the logical reason
Coming up with a thoughtful and logical response is the only way to save yourself from this tricky situation. Explain how you are swamped with other assignments and share your to-do list and deadlines. Do not start the conversation with a direct ‘no,’ and turn down the work only after you have explained your situation. Your senior might appreciate (and would be gently reminded) the work you are already doing and know you have a legitimate reason to say no.
An alternate solution is a must
Having a proactive attitude and showing the willingness to get the work done is a great way to say no to extra work without impacting your rapport with your senior. Come up with an alternate solution and display your problem-solving skills. Ask if you can do the work next day (in case you have time), suggest the name of another team member who might have time or any alternate suggestion that makes your senior feel you are really trying to help him or her.
Check the mood
Before you approach your manager or reply through an email, make sure you have an idea of your senior’s mood. If he or she is already anguished because of something, a not-so-positive news might worsen the situation. Hence, if the work is not really urgent, wait for an hour or two so that your senior gets the time to cool down and understand your situation better.
Think before you speak
Keep your personal stuff out of this conversation. Do not talk about how you are overwhelmed with office politics, crib about work burden, complain about co-workers or simply state you are not in the mood to do the work. Talk only about work-related matters and keep the conversation brief but specific.
Don’t forget to thank
Once you have conveyed your message, do not forget to say words like ‘Thanks for understanding’ or ‘Thank you for considering me for this opportunity’ to your senior. Ending the matter on a positive note never does any damage, right?
The time when you need to be blunt
In case your manager keeps piling you with work and expects you to stay back to finish the work almost every day, it is obviously not the right expectation. Look for the right time to have a one-on-one conversation, stay calm and explain what all you do in a day. Share that you are more than happy to stay back in the office or work on weekends occasionally but doing it every alternate day might take a toll on your work-life balance.
Remember, turning down work might feel awkward to you, but it is important that you learn to set boundaries in your professional life and not let anything take a toll on your personal life. n

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