How to Ask For Less Work Without Looking Lazy

We human beings have it pretty rough. We have big dreams and want to achieve financial success in our chosen careers, but there are times that we just can’t help being lazy. It’s tricky to find that elusive work-life balance that everyone is always talking about. We tend to think of people who whine about going to work as lazy and unambitious… and yet there comes a point in our jobs when we’re super overloaded and overworked. We simply can’t work like this any longer. So how do you communicate that to your boss or manager without looking like a total loser who hates hard work? Read on for this how-to guide and you’ll achieve the perfect balance of keeping the job you love but with much less work.

1. Focus on the Positive

You don’t exactly want to walk into your boss’s office and demand that they lighten your workload. You’re smart, you know how that’s going to go (not well at all). You can’t walk in and be negative and complain that you hate working on projects with that one co-worker or that it’s ridiculous that you have to send so many emails to clients. You have to be super strategic about the words you choose when talking to your manager. You want to be positive and focus on the aspects of your job that you do like. Make a list of the responsibilities that you have that you absolutely adore, whether it’s dealing with clients directly or writing business plans or creating the company-wide employee newsletter. When you’re positive, your boss will be more interested in listening to you. If you can truly make your boss see that you have more than enough work that you love doing, you have a better chance at them removing the stuff that upsets you.

2. Ask to Work Part-Time

It’s not going to be super easy to ask your boss if you can work from home on Fridays. They’re just going to laugh in your face and say, well, if they let you do that, then they’d have to let everyone do that, too. It’s basically like being back in elementary school. But if you can swing it, why not ask to switch your hours from full-time to part-time? Don’t worry, you won’t lose as much money as you’re think you might because you can freelance on your days off or get a second part-time job.

3. Make a Case for Your Health

If you don’t want to work part-time, there’s nothing wrong with talking to your boss about no longer working extra hours than your typical 40-hour work week. A totally crappy reality of our modern workforce is that we all tend to bring our work home with us or stay super late at the office. None of us can get off our emails or phones and it’s definitely affecting our health. So being worried about your health is as good a reason as any to ask your boss for less work. Tell your boss that you’re worried about your stress levels and that you keep coming down with epic colds. If they’re not the type to believe you (bosses can be so crazy, right?) then get a doctor’s note.

4. Explain Your Work Ethic

Your boss should already know how awesome you are at your job – they hired you, after all. But not all bosses are known for being reasonable and logical, so you’re going to have to tell them that you’re not asking for less work because you have zero work ethic. Be specific about your achievements at this job and your previous employment experience. You can even go back to your college days. Yeah, this is going to involve some serious bragging. Take advantage of it and even enjoy it. When do we ever get the chance to just brag about ourselves? So see this as an opportunity to brag to your boss about yourself.

5. Talk About Your Company Loyalty

When discussing ways to cut down on your workload, make sure that you mention how super loyal you are to the company. You can chat about the number of years you’ve worked there, the holiday parties you’ve enjoyed, the office potlucks and get-togethers you’ve organized. If your boss can see that you’re a team player who loves your coworkers (sorry, you’re going to have to lie if you hate them – it’s worth it though) then they’ll see you’re a real asset to the company.

6. Take a Pay Cut

There’s just so many things you can do if you really want less work. Unfortunately, your only option might be to work less hours for less money. Of course you don’t want to make less than you’re making now. Who in their right mind would ask to make a lower salary? But if you really can’t handle your insane workload, you might be able to convince your boss to lighten things up if you mention you would consider making a bit less money. It might be worth it if you can keep your sanity. And your boss won’t mind too much as they’ll be able to save some money that they’d otherwise have to pay you. Of course this is a rather radical solution, so make sure you figure out if you’re in a financial mess beforehand.

7. Find a Bunch of Solutions

It’s annoying when someone talks about a problem without offering a solution. Don’t be that person. Come to your boss with your problem (you have too much work and you 100 percent need and want less) and your solutions. Brainstorm a few so your boss can choose the best one. Offer to stay an extra hour every night for some time if it means having less work in the long run. Ask if you can work one weekend a month if it means having much less work every single day. Be creative and open to having an actual conversation with your boss about this rather than just banging down their office door and being a total diva about it.

8. Make Your Hardest Work a Priority

If all else fails, you need to be honest with your boss about the fact that it’s impossible to get everything done. Tell them that you have to make certain projects or assignments a priority or you’ll fall short of anything resembling success. Sure, you might be slightly afraid of your boss (or, okay, totally afraid) but they’re probably not a complete monster. They don’t want you to fail because then guess what? The company looks like a failure, too. Nobody wants that. Once your boss is aware of the fact that you truly have too much work and it’s preventing you from doing your best, they’ll understand that you need less on your plate.

See Also: Getting Back to Work After A Holiday

Sick and tired of, well, being sick and tired thanks to the crazy demands of your job? Thinking there must be more to life than working like a dog every day of the week? With this easy how-to guide, you know have a bunch of ideas for approaching your boss and asking for less work without looking lazy.