Hiring in Chicago is a huge responsibility in itself. When combined with your standard job duties, it can easily make you crazy busy. That’s where you’re at right now, so you have absolutely no room for anything else — but your co-workers think otherwise.

You’ve just been asked to take on additional work, and you know you can’t handle it. Disappointing others is something you hate to do, but you have to put yourself first. Here’s the best way to decline more work.

How to Say No When You’re at Capacity

Share a Glimpse of Your Workload

Simply telling your colleague no might send the impression you just don’t want to help. Make it clear this isn’t a case by listing some of the projects you’re working on and their deadlines. This will show them you’re being honest about your workload, and not just trying to avoid helping them.

Be Firm

Some people aren’t good at taking no for an answer. If your colleague pushes back when you decline to assist them, stand firm. They’re trying to lighten their workload by asking you for help, which will, in turn, give you even more to do. Standing up for yourself is crucial because if you don’t, no one else will.

Offer Something

You’re not able to perform the requested task, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your colleague a little something. Maybe you can offer a quick insight into the task or suggest someone else with your same skill level who might be able to help. Your co-worker will appreciate the effort because giving what little you can shows your desire to help.

Don’t Feel Guilty

Turning down a request for assistance from a colleague you respect and admire isn’t easy. You probably feel bad about it, especially if they’ve helped you out in the past. Try not to beat yourself up about it, because this isn’t personal. You would lend a helping hand if you could, but right now, you’re inundated with your work.

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