Feeling Overworked? Consider Why.

If so, you’re not alone. I overheard a woman at a restaurant say to her colleague: “There could be two of me at work and I would still not get everything done!”

Never feeling caught up is an ongoing problem if you lack the ability to prioritize or properly allocate your time. It adds to the issue of having too much to do if you lack focus and end up doing bits and pieces of projects, and never completing anything.

However, in these days of companies cost cutting that leads to fewer resources, your feeling overloaded can also be a workplace issue.

Even though the intention is rarely to overwork their staff by assigning too much to accomplish, there is no question that employers are asking more of workers than ever before.

If you’re diligent, committed and consistently act as though you can get the job done, it’s understandable that your employer would think that your work assignments are appropriate and manageable.  Consequently, your manager might believe there is room to add more responsibilities to your overflowing plate of tasks.

Out of fear that you might lose your job, you may not let your boss know you have too much to do, especially if your supervisor ever uses phrases like: “There are plenty of people to fill your shoes” and “You are free to leave if you don’t like what you are asked to do”.

Pressure to do more with less can bring out the worst in people, including managers who think threats are the only way to motivate. In fact, threats do motivate, but in a negative way that often fosters resentment in employees.

Research shows that motivation by intimidation has only short-term results and ultimately fosters high turnover. In the long run, companies with these types of managers lose out because of increased training costs resulting from people coming and going. This narrow, outdated management style works counter to any talent retention strategy aimed at increasing employee engagement.

If you feel overworked, ask yourself why. Have you done all you can to be as efficient as possible, including asking for help from your colleagues or your manager?

If so, then you may be like the woman in the restaurant—someone in a job that can’t be completed by one person working reasonable hours. If you’ve been covering up an organizational issue by overworking, you are enabling the situation to continue.

Consider these options: 

1.     Talk with your manager.

2.     If you are overworking, begin to pull back your time at work so you can have better life/work balance.

3.      Look for another job that has a work environment more conducive to healthy productivity.