How to Stop Doing Other People’s Work & Focus on Your Own Responsibilities?

Are you familiar with a situation where the management or colleagues with whom you have established a friendly relationship ask you to do them a favor, namely, to take on part of their duties because you can cope with them much better and faster. Not wanting to offend anyone, you agree and end up sitting late over other people’s tasks. We tell you how to avoid this and focus on your work

“My dear, we can’t do a thing without you! You are a professional. We cannot entrust anyone with such a responsible task”- most of you must have heard a similar monologue of a manager, who is trying to enthusiastically delegate new responsibilities to you. All your attempts to refuse fail, and the boss and colleagues are sure that in the end you will be a little indignant, but will do everything that you have been assigned to (even if it is not written in your employment contract). is going to tell you how to stop doing someone else’s work.

Experts remind you that you should not take an additional burden of responsibility, trying to prove to the management that you are the most irreplaceable employee and can always be relied on. They already know this and shamelessly take advantage of your kindness. Instead of the expected praise and career advance, you get extra headache and more tasks for the same salary.

How do others manage to get you do their work?

Why is this happening:

  • You are really appreciated (albeit not in the quality you expected, but still you are).
  • You are a true professional in your field, who can handle any tasks (including those of other employees).
  • Ultimately, the authorities will notice your merits and offer a more interesting position than the one you are currently occupying.
  • You are developing and improving your professional skills. You become a real universal, who will be welcome in any prestigious company.

What to do if they are trying to overload you with additional work:

To avoid misunderstanding, require a clear job description when applying for a job. Then you will be able to refuse those who ask you to do something that the description does not contain at any moment.

If you’re tired of self-improvement and working for two (or even three) employees for free, don’t reach hasty conclusions and approach the solution to the problem logically. For example, instead of acting like a hero at work, offer the management a fair solution and divide the responsibilities between all employees so that no one is offended (you must admit that there are two different situations: when a boss gives extra work to everyone and when he burdens one person with an extremely great amount of work). Do not immediately put forward an ultimatum. Instead, tactfully explain to your superiors why delegation of authority will be the only reasonable option.

If the boss insists that it is you who are responsible for the given amount of work, discuss the terms when you will return to your immediate duties. Let’s say you have agreed to help the boss, but warned that your help would last exactly until you identify (or find) the person responsible for this in the future. If it is a colleague asking you for “help”, politely but firmly explain to him/her that while you are fulfilling their duties, your work will be put to the background (accordingly, you can fail your plans, lose your bonus, and so on).

If you need extra money, you can discuss this point. For example, you agree to do something other than what is specified in your employment contract, but only if you are paid for it. Never forget that by agreeing once you automatically subscribe to all the experiments that come to your boss’s mind. Therefore, if you voluntarily and forcibly carry out his instructions and then suddenly decide to ask for an additional bonus, do not be surprised that you will be refused. Why? You have never raised the topic of money before, so why should you be paid more now?

Learn to say no. Sometimes this is the most effective way to show both the management and other employees that you will not blindly do what they want and will not work overtime just because you are afraid to offend someone or even lose your job.

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