Psychology and Relationships

Use this 2-word phrase when your boss asks you to do more work than you have time to do, according to a therapist

Sdi Productions | E+ | Getty Images

Oftentimes the consequence of being a reliable, effective worker is … more work.

And, while the reputation of being productive is generally a good thing, even the most organized, go-getter can't do it all. 

If your boss consistently asks you to take on tasks for which you don't have the bandwidth, it's okay to say "no" sometimes, says Brandon Smith, a therapist and career coach known as The Workplace Therapist. 

This isn't always so easy, though. Denying a request from a person who has some control of your income is understandably nerve wracking.

"You always want to treat a boss like the number one client or customer," Smith says.

Here's how to appease your manager and still set a boundary.

"Yes, and …" 

"We want to borrow from our friends in improv," Smith says. Meaning, don't flat out say "no."

Instead, start your reply with "Yes, and …" 

After the "and," state that it can't be done right away. He offers up the following example:

"Yes, and I can get to that in a couple weeks." 

We want to borrow from our friends in improv.
Brandon Smith
The Workplace Therapist

If your boss says they need the task done faster, tell them the other tasks on your to-do list. 

"Share with them the priorities you have and say, 'which one of these do we need to move?'" Smith says.

This way, you're demonstrating how you're an asset to the team, and communicating that right now is not the best time to put more on your plate.

Get CNBC's free report, 11 Ways to Tell if We're in a Recession, where Kelly Evans reviews the top indicators that a recession is coming or has already begun.

I live in a $62/month dumpster that I built for $5,000 – take a look inside
I live in a $62/month dumpster that I built for $5,000