Five Easy Ways to Negotiate Your Workload

Are you feeling overwhelmed at work?

Keep a Calendar

If so, it helps to keep a running calendar to use to consult with your boss on priorities.

Discuss Your Calendar with Your Boss

Go to her/him with a daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly (whatever is appropriate for you and your job) calendar that outlines:

1. Your prioritized deliverables.

2. When you plan to do what.

3. Your estimated time to complete.

Negotiating Points

This simple visual opens the door for you to negotiate:

1. The content of your deliverables, including dropping all/part of one or more of them.

2. Quality. What does your boss want?

3. Priorities.

4. Deadlines/due dates.

5. Additional help.

You Don’t Have to Say “No”

A reasonable boss will collaborate with you on making your calendar work, and they will appreciate the visual snapshot of what you’re doing.

Note that you never have to say “no” to your boss. Rather, you simply create agreement on what you’re doing, quality, priorities, due dates, and resources.

An unreasonable boss won’t like this approach. If that happens, you can decide if it’s time for you to start looking or not.

I’m an executive resume writer. I blog about job search topics at and on LinkedIn.