We naturally hesitate to tell our boss when we can't do something or are feeling overwhelmed in our job. Bosses don't want to hear that, right? Well, it depends.
In many situations, your boss is so busy that he/she doesn't keep track of how much work you're doing. When your boss gives you a new project, he's not thinking about all the other projects you're already working on.
And here's the kicker -- unless you speak up and tell your boss that you can't handle the workload he's giving you, he'll assume everything is fine.
This can have bad consequences for you AND your boss. You know what will happen. Eventually things will start falling through the cracks or you'll rush through tasks and start making mistakes.
You can only do so much in a day, and deadlines will be missed. While you're stressing out, work that your boss needs you to do is NOT being done.
When this happens, your boss will not appreciate your excuse: "But I had too much to do, I was overloaded with work!" Saying that AFTER the fact will be much worse than telling your boss up front -- before mistakes occur or deadlines are missed -- that you're having trouble with your workload.
It is your responsibility to tell your boss when you are overwhelmed, and there's nothing wrong with doing this.
Of course, you don't want to tell your boss, "I can't do that; I'm too busy." But you can say, "I'll be happy to take that on, but I need your help with prioritizing the other projects you've already given me. Which jobs can I put on hold or delegate to someone else while I work on this new one?"
That's way better than keeping your mouth shut, trying to do too much, and failing miserably.
Bonnie Lowe is author of the popular Job Interview Success System and free information-packed ezine, "Career-Life Times." Find those and other powerful career-building resources and tips at her website: http://www.best-interview-strategies.com.