How to avoid overload at work: Clarify

lack of clarity signYou are operating on overload. Even if you didn’t add one more thing to your task list, there is no way you can get all of this done.  But how do you tell your boss that you are overloaded on work without seeming like you are trying to pass of work?


Clarify the expectations of the tasks, projects, deliverables…and clarify the expectations of your role in their outcome.

Not all bosses will tell you what to do first, second, third… but if you ask them what they would do if in your place, they know – So ask.  Remember, you are not asking to do less of everything, you are asking to do more of the right things.

Clarify what must be done versus what could be done. Too many people think that they have to accomplish everything – not so. For me the secret is to first eliminate what can wait, then create the list. 

  “The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

Clarify when it must be done versus when it could be done. Even after you have your list of what’s called important, the key is to know what’s the most important then do that first.

“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important then give it all you’ve got.” – Lee Iacocca

Clarify who must do it versus who could do it. Even the narrow list of the most important items can seem overloading, so share the load.  You have to know what your part is and do that well, don’t carry everyone else’s load too.

 “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

Finally, use your feeling of overload to learn and grow.  Take a shot at thinking how you would prioritize if you were the boss.  When you talk to your boss, offer your suggestions and see how you do. 


2 Responses to How to avoid overload at work: Clarify
  1. James Landry

    Great Concepts and great quotes.

    I once a comment about the common excuse, “I don’t have enough time”…..

    “That phrase is a lie because there is only 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year; everyone has the same amount of time. The issues is not that ‘more time’ is needed but it is a mater of what you prioritize with what time you have”

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      James you are right. It’s always about giving up the good stuff to focus on the great stuff.