As we go through our regular day-to-day, different ad-hoc tasks arise that result in additional items on our never-ending list of to-do things. While we may mumble to ourselves the phrase “that’s not in my job description”, being thoughtful and respectful in your responses not only relieves you of any ill feelings, it helps move projects along and allows you to contribute in different ways.
Working in teams increases the chances of creating new ideas, brainstorming, and collaboration. However, what if you are already taking on more of the workload versus your other team members?
In this blog, we will discover how you can respectfully accept or decline any additional work requests that are either completely out of your scope of work, are assigned to someone else, or are just going to overload your already full plate.
Consider these tips when communicating a task that isn’t your job:
1. Review the situation before you respond
Welcome additional tasks with an open mind. Avoid snubbing them right away as they may add some pleasant benefits that you don’t expect. Before actually crafting our response, try to understand the objectives of the tasks and the benefits that they can bring. Then assess if you have some extra time and bandwidth to actually complete the tasks. We sometimes fall into the trap if being too helpful where we end up in a rut and to-do list up to the neck.
If you realize you can’t accommodate, consider writing a sincere and respectful response. This shows your character of being considerate of their time and you are creating boundaries.
2. Feeling helpful today? Be sure it doesn’t put off your responsibilities
Try to offer help that is within your means. If you think you will not be able to commit to completing the whole task, communicate to your team what you can do so they can complete the rest (don’t leave them hanging). Your small contributions will be greatly appreciated.
3. Check your Job Description
If you are presented with an additional task that is significantly out of your jurisdiction, refer to your job description and find out how else you will be able to support the task. On the other hand, you can also use your job description to carefully craft your response in such a way that you are still respectful of your colleagues and their time.
4. Consider reshaping your daily habits and routine
We may have already formed our daily routines in such a way that allows us to complete our day-to-day with ease, but with a little room for flexibility. You can try to reshape your habits and routine that will allow you to accommodate additional tasks. This could benefit you in the long run. Shifting your habits and routines also presents you with a new perspective on how to tackle different tasks, workloads, and manage your time.
5. Present a variety of options and effective answers
In times when you will not be able to contribute, offer a variety of options where you will be able to contribute. These could be suggestions like helping at a different time when you can actually support or offer help on smaller subtasks.
Being able to respond clearly, respectively, and professionally to additional work requests allows you to be more visible within your team. This builds character and shows that you are willing to help, just not completely at that specific time. Which is not a bad thing as you are setting boundaries and ensuring your work will be completed. When communication is clear and direct, it signals to your colleagues that not only are you capable of supporting other tasks but that you are responsible enough to prioritize what you need to.
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