Overworked? How to say "no" when you're asked to do more

Hey there,

Are you struggling with too much work? And don't see a way out? Below is a word-for-word script that will guide you in what to say when you're asked to do just one more thing!

The problem is that most people stay quiet or respond indirectly to too much work. Little by little, resentment builds, disengagement begins, and before you know it, you're miserable! 

If that's the case for you, check out my free webinar: How to Stop Hating Your Job and Feel Happier at Work Now.

In the meanwhile, take a look at the script below and let me know how it goes!


1) When someone approaches you with yet another thing to do, acknowledge how the project is important and how you really want to help. This is critical: ensure that people feel seen.  Be authentic. 

  • “Guys, I can see how this project is vital to your kicking butt at the conference.
  • I’d love to tackle it.
  • I'm dedicated to helping you deliver and represent our company. I know that you're counting on me.”   

2) State the facts, describe what you have going on (without complaining): 

  • "Let me describe what I have going on, so you can assess whether I'm the right one for this job.
  • I’m currently managing 15 projects, which is seven more than I'm scoped to do. Two of these projects are for Bob, the VP of Sales, and Sally, the CEO.
  • They also are due when you want me to deliver your project. Unfortunately, I have no support staff now.” 

3) What are the consequences if you say, Yes:

  • "If I say YES right now, it means that something has to give - I’m going to have to compromise something else I’m working on or deliver it in a manner that doesn’t meet my standards of excellence.
  • It also means that I have to break my commitments to Bob and Sally.”  

4) Restate your commitment and your dedication to doing great work and explain why things may take as long as they do: 

  • "Let me help you understand the behind the scenes of doing this well....
  • I’m committed to providing high-quality work, which means the following steps have to happen: First...then....”

5) Ask them to help you figure out a solution. Describe your willingness to be creative and support them, but ask them to help you think it through. If they don't, you just have to say, NO. 

  • "So, given these circumstances, help me figure out how I can make you happy.
  • I'm open to hearing your ideas on how else we can make this work.
  • Perhaps we assign it to Angela? Or we can speak to my VP about getting some additional staff?” 

Notice the difference between stuffing your emotions down (which results in passive-aggressive sighs) and expressing your needs? 

A lot of times, we forget we have more control and choice than we think. 

 This immediately cuts the tension for several reasons. 

1) You’re not ignoring your emotions. I always say that emotions are like children. The more you ignore them, the louder they get.

2) You’re enrolling others in helping you resolve your situation from an authentic stance rather than a manipulative or passive-aggressive position.

Don’t ignore the emotion, let it guide you in evaluating what you need and speaking truthfully.  

If you aren’t able to do this in the moment (which I admit isn’t easy), buy yourself some time with, "Let me take a moment to assess what I have going on and then get back to you." Get yourself into a calm or nuetral state and then go for it!

I’ll be sharing more tips on how to handle negative work experiences at my free webinar,STOP HATING YOUR JOB AND BE HAPPIER AT WORK NOW.   I hope you can make it!

Here's to your flourishing at work!



P.S. If you sign-up for the webinar and can't make it, I'll send you a recording. Make sure you don't miss out on this valuable resource. Your talent is too great and your life is too precious to spend most of your time feeling blah or worse! Here's that link again.