If it seems like you never have enough time to complete your work before three new projects are handed down to you - always with the instructions that they're high-priority - you probably need to talk with your manager about your workload. But with more companies expecting people to do more with less, how can you talk about this in a way that your manager will listen to? Here are five steps to talking to your manager when your workload is overwhelming.

1. Don't assume that your manager knows how high your workload is. Your manager can't help you if she doesn't realize that there's a problem. A common mistake in this situation is to assume that your workload is so obviously high that there's no way that your manager doesn't know, and so therefore she must not care or can't do anything about it. But in reality, you're the person paying the most attention to your workload, not your manager - and she may assume that since you're not speaking up, there isn't a problem. So…
1. 不要以为你的经理知道你的工作繁重。如果你的经理不知道有问题,她也帮不了你。在这种情况下一个常见的错误是你认为你的工作量太重,经理不可能不知道,所以她肯定是不关心或者无能为力。但在现实中,你是对工作量最关注的人,而不是你的经理——她可能会假定你没有说出来就是没有问题。所以…

2. Talk to your manager about the situation. Pick a time when your manager isn't rushed and ask to talk about your workload. Explain that it has become unmanageable and why (for instance, that you've taken on the responsibilities of someone who left without anything being removed from your plate, or that a particular account has doubled in size). Explaining what's behind the workload increase can help because your manager may not be focused on the facts as you.
2. 和你的经理说下情况。选一个经理不忙的时间和他谈谈你的工作量。说明它已经无法被掌控以及解释下原因(例如,你承担了别人的工作,但自己的工作没有任何减少,或者某个账户的规模翻倍了)。解释工作量增加的背后原因会有帮助因为你的经理可能不会和你一样关注实际情况。

3. Suggest options. You're most likely to get the help that you need if you come prepared to talk about options. For instance, you might say, "I can do A and B, but not C. Or if C is really important, I'd want to move A off my plate to make room for it. Alternately, I can act as an adviser to Jane on C, but I can't do the work of C myself if I'm also doing A and B."
3. 给出选择。如果你准备好几个选择方案,那你很有可能得到你需要的帮助。例如,你可以说:“我可以做A和B,但不能做C。或着说如果C真的很重要,我想把A放一放来腾出时间给C。又或者我可以在Jane做C时给些建议,但我不能在做A和B时还做C的工作。”

4. Frame it as a matter of making the best choices. If your manager resists making these kinds of trade-offs, you need to keep pushing the issue. Say, "I hear you that we want it all to get done, but since I'm never going to be able to get to it all, I want to make strategic choices about how I should be structuring my time, and make sure that you and I are aligned on those choices." If your manager won't help you prioritize, then come up with your own proposal for what you will and won't prioritize and ask her to tweak it or OK it.
4. 为做出最好的选择列个概要。如果你的经理不愿意做这些权衡,那你需要主动推进这一问题。你可以说“我明白我们都想把所有事情做好,但我不可能一个人做这么多事,所以我想在时间安排上做些取舍,并确保我们都同意这些选择方案。”如果你的经理不帮你安排事情的优先次序,那就提出自己觉得重要和不是特别要紧的事,然后问她是要调整还是执行。

5. Enforce boundaries. To take on something new when your plate is already full, you need to either get rid of something else or at least push it back. So if a new project comes your way, go to your manager and ask about trade-offs: "If I work on this now, it means that X and Y will have to pushed back by a week. Is that OK to do, or should we put this new work on hold until X and Y are finished first?" Or, "I can do this new project and X, or this new project and Y, but not all three in the time frame we have."
5. 明确承受的底线。当你忙的焦头烂额又要有新任务时,你需要停止其他事情或者至少把新任务推后。因此,如果你被安排做一个新项目,去找你的经理询问有没有折中办法:“如果我现在做这个工作,那意味着X和Y将不得不被推迟一周。这样可以吗?或者我们是否应该先把新工作放放,等X和Y做好了再说?”也可以说“我能做这个新项目和X,或者这个新项目和Y,但不是在现在的时间安排里把3个都做好。”