Are you overwhelmed at work? Learn to say “No”

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How many times you, as a developer, felt overwhelmed by having many tasks and responsibilities on the company you work on?

On today’s post we’ll discuss about being overwhelmed, the power of saying “No” and how to keep your mind sane.

When is it good to get responsibilities?

Bringing responsibilities to yourself is a good thing for a developer. By doing this you will stand out and the opportunities will start to pop up for you.

It’s normal that, once you are evolving as a developer/it professional in general, new opportunities appear for you and I really encourage you to take these opportunities to grow in your career.

Whenever you are getting very skilled into some programming language, technique or methodology, people you see you as a reference on that subject. With this you may be called by the company to make presentations, lead study groups, lead teams, train interns, level up other developers skills, participate on sales meetings, etc.

How cools is that?! Now the company and the market see and respect you. And you keep getting responsibilities to you, but there is something else you are not noticing …

Put new stuff on your plate while it’s empty. An agenda can help you organizing your schedule with reminders, events and meetings.

When this is too much?

It’ll get into a point that you will be overwhelmed, with just little time to do things, that you’ll start leaving other important things of the life aside.

The harder you fight to accomplish all of these things, the less you sleep, the less you rest and the less you stay with family and friends. And also you’ll not eat properly and exercise because you have “more important stuff to do”.

It’s a matter of time for you to get into insomnia, gain weight and face a burnout syndrome.

Learning to say “No”

One of the most important things for a professional is to have self knowledge and understand when it’s too much for you.

Many times people will keep suggesting new stuff for you to do and bringing new opportunities. Also, many times the companies won’t notice you have a lot on your plate and new things will come, and as you are a great professional, these tasks will come to you.

So it’s very important that you are able to realize when it’s too much for you. That moment when you start working many extra hours. That moment when you leave the gym. That moment when you go to bed thinking about work, dream about work and wake up tired with work on your mind. That moment when you can only think about work and leave important (non work) things aside.

You noticed I wrote “work” a lot on this last paragraph? Interesting, isn’t it?!

I know it’s hard to say “no” to your boss when he/she comes to talk to you offering you new, and many times great opportunities. Sometimes urgent stuff appear but be careful.

But sometimes you MUST deny these opportunities/tasks, because it’s not healthy and as you are overwhelmed, you’ll not be able to to things right.

It’s better to do one thing right than two things by half.

Why am I talking about this subject?

OK cool, but why the hell am I talking about this? I’m talking about this because all professionals, not only developers or IT people, must care about life quality and have a balance between professional and personal lives.

I’ve been through all this and I can say I learned to say ”no”, but the hard way. I’ve been through health problems, stress, insomnia and other stuff. That’s why I wrote this post about the importance of respecting your limits.

If you have any questions or want to discuss more, you can reach out to me on the comments section. I hope I helped a bit, thank you!

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