April 23, 2012
Every employee wants to feel that he or she has control of situations at work, but the fact is, it isn't always possible. Sometimes it's good to ask for help, without putting your professional reputation on the line. Going about this isn't always easy, but the following tips will help.
The best thing to do when you're feeling overwhelmed is to take a look at your to-do list (or make one). You may be feeling overwhelmed because of a new set of responsibilities, or things that are going on at home. If this is the case, you don't need to ask for help. Prioritize your schedule, one day at a time, and complete the tasks that are required of you. You will feel better once you work through them and check them off of your list. If you're feeling drained, you might just need to take a few vacation days to recover.
If you feel that you won't be able to complete a task within the assigned deadline, ask for help sooner rather than later. You don't want to wait until the last minute; it will make you look desperate and needy, and it will disappoint your supervisor. Ask a colleague or supervisor for help in a professional matter -- whining or panicking will only make things worse. More often than not, they will be able to think of a solution that you never would've thought of, or they'll lend you a hand.
Move a Deadline
If you have too much to handle, talk to someone about changing the deadline. Make a list of reasons why you should have a few more days to work on your project, and show them to your supervisor. A thoughtful plan is hard to turn down.
Prevent the Problem
Stop the problem before it starts by saying "no" and negotiating early on. If you say "yes" to every opportunity that comes your way, you're going to do a not-so-good job on a lot of little tasks, instead of a great job on a few focused tasks. Keep an open line of communication within your supervisor every day at work, so both of you know where you stand. Miscommunication can cause stress and problems for the business, which is never fun for anyone.
Emily Keck, ChaCha Business