As a time coach and the author of "The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment," I've taught many people in this situation how to communicate effectively with their managers. This not only leads to much better work/life balance and job satisfaction for them, but also better results for their employers. When you feel overwhelmed, you simply aren't as productive.
Here's how to have a happier, healthier work life in four simple steps.
Step 1: Document Your Work
Your boss probably feels just as overwhelmed as you do and hasn't kept track of how much you need to get done. As I heard someone say recently, "I keep giving people work to do until they sqwak." Most managers are relying on you to let them know when you have too much to do. If you don't tell them in a clear, logical way, they will assume you are fine and keep giving your more tasks. Before you enter a dialogue with your manager, write down a list of all of your current responsibilities, including day-to-day maintenance items like e-mail, recurring items like weekly reports, and variable items like projects.
Step 2: Estimate The Time Requirement
Once you have listed out all of your responsibilities, you need to estimate out about how much time they take to complete. So for instance, you may need to spend two hours a day on e-mail and three hours a week on a report. For projects, try to break them down into parts, such as weekly one-hour project update meeting, and steps such as, initial research, prototype development, user testing, refinement, and production. With each step, you'll want to make rough estimates such as 10 hours a week for five weeks.