How to Deal with a Boss Who Gives Too Much Work

Learn how you can easily track your time so that you can deal with a boss who gives you too much work.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #176

Use Your Grid to Meet With Your Boss

Keep your daily grids in a notebook. After a week of tracking your days, you'll be ready to talk to your boss. Now when you meet with your boss, you can make a strong case about your workload:

  • Number of rows: The number of rows filled out on the pages will show how many different projects you're working on at once. Use this as a sanity check. In the screwiest job of my career, I was responsible for 46 different projects. Spending just one hour per project per week, I couldn't even review everything each week! And at one hour per week, it was no surprise nothing made much progress. Use the number of rows to discuss your overall workload with your boss.

  • The checkmarks: How the checkmarks are laid out will tell you how focused you were. If you have long, horizontal lines of checkmarks, that means you stayed on one project for enough time to get something done. If your checkmarks bounce up and down through the day, even if you keep coming back to the same project, your distraction level is so high you're likely never getting momentum. Use the distribution of checkmarks to discuss the need to work uninterrupted on the same project.

  • Number of projects: The number of projects written in pencil, along with checkmarks in the "interruptions" row, will show how many distractions and changes of direction your boss introduced. Use the interruptions to show your boss how much he's introduced new tasks that might change your priorities. Ask him to show how the new tasks fit into or replace your existing priorities.

With your grids in hand, you can talk with your boss to renegotiate your workload. Set priorities and get rid of projects that no longer fit comfortably in your schedule. Also discuss delegation style, and put your heads together to find a way for your boss to meet his needs, while allowing you to meet yours as well.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

Overworked Employee image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.