My team is understaffed and I’m drowning in work – help!

By Rell DeShaw

July 6, 2022

overworked-business people
Your strong work ethic isn’t enough to help when you just have too much to do. (WavebreakmediaMicro/Adobe)

Having too much work and not enough help is a really thorny problem. Your reputation is at stake and you may be worrying that you are inadequate or scared that you will be thought of as “lazy, uncommitted, not a team player,” or, a complainer.

This is a difficult chicken and egg scenario — you need help but you have too much work to get reinforcements. So, what can you do?

As the expert in your own situation, you may already have all the information you need to diagnose and support yourself out of this place. In this article, we’ll explore just how to do that.

That said, I am writing with a few assumptions: I hope that there is at least some willingness from those higher up to begin a discussion about your situation and that you feel your credibility is solid enough to start a meaningful conversation.

If you feel your credibility is a bit wobbly (we have all been there, including when you are new to your role), don’t lose heart — we will discuss strategies for that too.

1. Figure out why you are in this position and buckle down for the journey

To begin tackling the problem, start by examining your position, then figure out your ‘must do’ tasks.

2. Assess if you need to make a pitch for a re-set

You’ve assessed the ‘must dos’, now move on to assessing your capacity and, if needed, making a pitch for a re-set.

3. Asking for help and exploring tools for the job

Know who and when to ask for help and research productivity tools to help make life easier.

4. Boundaries and deciding whether to walk away

Practise taking pauses, learn the art of saying no, and explore when it might be time to leave.

This article is reproduced from Apolitical.


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