Overwhelmed? Asking and Getting Help at Work

If you’re overwhelmed at work one option is to do what this mail carrier did. According to thisyes+no+maybe(web).jpg

Suntimes article she “told investigators she was ‘overwhelmed'” with the amount of mail that had to be delivered. She left seven tubs of undelivered mail outside an apartment complex and clocked out without telling anyone. What did it get her? A theft charge and a possible three-year sentence.

What’s the best way to ask for help when you’re overwhelmed at work? Sometimes it’s hard because you don’t want to look weak, incapable, or unable to keep up.

Here are three tips for asking and getting what you need:

Say Why. Let your boss know why you’re asking. For example, “I am working on the Applewood project and was just given the Blakewood deal. I need help because there are competing deadlines.”

Say What and When. “I need someone to prepare envelopes today and tomorrow so I can get the mailings on both projects out in time. It will take about 4 hours to do this part of the project.” Being clear about what you want and a timeline makes it easier for others evaluate their priorities and determine whether they can meet your expectations.

Say How. Offer a solution, or way someone can help you. “Having someone help with the envelopes will allow me to focus on the documents. It would be great if a receptionist could prepare the envelopes. I need them completed within the next two days.”

With a clear request, a reason and a solution, it’s much easier for others to know what they’re getting into and to say yes to helping you.

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC helps busy people reclaim and re-energize their business and life by conquering overwhelm and getting into greater productivity, profitability and peace of mind.
For more ideas on conquering overwhelm, attend Linda’s free teleseminar on June 9, 2010. Register at: www.lindahardenstein.com/events/free-teleseminar
What are your thoughts on asking for help when you’re overwhelmed at work?