It happens. We already have a lot on our plate at work and we’re given more. How are we expected to complete all of this? If you say yes, you’ll burn yourself out and it will just continuing happening. But how can you say no professionally, especially when it’s your boss or someone higher-u asking?
- Know when you need to push back. You need to realize that if you say yes to everything, you’ll be categorized as “someone who would just do a lot of work.” Also, think of if the tasks align with your personal and professional goals.
- Telling a colleague is easier. It tends to be easier to set polite boundaries with your colleagues than with your manager. But instead of saying no, you can say “I’m sorry I’m unable to help with this right now.” You can then either compromise on a later date for it to be completed or refer them to a another colleague who may have more capacity.
- Say “no” to your boss when you have a solution in mind. Continuously saying “I don’t have time for this” may come off as continuously complaining. For instance, you can offer to adjust your priorities to get the task done by saying something like “If I help you with that now, then I’ll complete this task/project [at this later date] –– will that work for you?” You can also track how long your current tasks take and present your case to your boss. They may not fully know what you’re doing day-to-day and how much of your time it’s taking.
Source: Huffington Post