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Learn to Refuse Additional Work When Overwhelmed

Taking on extra work when you already have a lot on your plate might leave you feeling overwhelmed and risking burnout. In such instances, it becomes necessary to refuse more work. Saying no at work might be awkward, but saying yes to everything is also unhealthy. Most individuals find it difficult to say no because they feel bad for not contributing and as if they are not part of a team. However, saying yes to everything and feeling overwhelmed is neither healthy nor productive. You may not have a choice in the matter, but if you do, it is critical to understand how you may refuse to take on additional work when you already have a lot on your plate. As a result, Karen Dillon, author of the “HBR Guide to Office Politics,” shows how to gracefully refuse more work when you are already overloaded in this podcast episode on the ‘HBR IdeaCast’ channel on the ‘Google Podcasts’ platform.

Karen offers one of the greatest pieces of advice on the matter early on, suggesting that you take the time to think if you will be able to accomplish the extra offered task or not before responding with a yes or no. One of the finest things you can do to politely take some time to contemplate taking on additional work is to inform the authority to check your calendar and get back to them. She says that, while it may appear to be a panic scenario at first, this might be due to a variety of successful factors, such as your manager’s confidence in your ability to extend duties. She says that, while it may appear to be a panic scenario at first, it might be due to a variety of beneficial reasons, such as your manager’s confidence in your ability to extend duties now, or it could provide you with the chance to work with some of the finest in the company. However, if that is not the case and you are being requested to do some more work, you must decide how to deny it if it would need more time and energy. She provides a few strategies to gracefully refuse more work, beginning with the most crucial where she advises practicing doing so before actually doing it. Although there is no singular approach to refuse more work because so much depends on the individual assigning you more work and the conditions of the firm, she advises discussing your whole calendar to see if there is anything that can be taken off to handle that particular assignment. She argues that a manager who fosters a healthy work culture should constantly strive to allow you to be productive at your best rather than just forcing you to take on additional work. Finally, her advice on reverse delegation is to have faith in your colleagues and not merely take on work that you could do yourself because it could take them longer.

It is quite difficult to refuse more work, especially if you are being requested by someone you respect. However, the recommendations provided by Karen Dillon, author of the “HBR Guide to Office Politics,” will undoubtedly help you do so graciously.

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