Hopefully I can get some good advice here before I either lose it and blow up at my boss or go crazy trying to do everything.
I was recently promoted, to a paygrade where my pay finally matched my responsibilities. However, I've also inherited a bunch of new taskings. The biggest problem I'm having is that these new responsibilities are taking time away from a huge, long-term project where I've been the only one working on it for the past 6 months.
The deadline for this big project has come and gone, and gone again, and I'm coming up on the 'really, no shit, it has to be done by this date' day a lot faster than I like. I've asked for at least one other person, to help, but my shop is so small that every time they give me someone they take them away a day or two later.
I've resorted to taking my work home with me, because even if I stay late I'm still plagued by constant questions, taskings, and things only I can possibly fix. Today, I almost lost it on my boss as I was trying to leave and he came to me and said, 'Hey, I told you in an email this morning that I needed you to do X's job too now, why wasn't that done?"
How can I tell my boss, and his boss, that I need them to back off on me long enough that I can finish the project they assigned me to (full time) 6 months ago without looking like I'm shirking responsibility or can't handle it?
Exactly. Priorities is the key word here. Saying you have too much work will screw you over, royally. What is also important is to talk to your boss about it. Don't let things boil over and hope they will get better. The snow ball may be too big to stop by that point.
Only go to your boss with solutions. Look at the other tasks, figure out what you can delegate. Don't go into his office saying you're overwhelmed, go in with 1-3 solutions and alternatives to show you're taking this seriously and stepping up as a result of the promotion. Validate that he was right to promote you while also seeking ways to remove some of the clutter so you can focus on the big project.
Actually, my MC1 is sort of the problem -- he's getting out soonish (next 6 months), and has short timer syndrome, which means he's passing a lot of his duties to me when I'm not capable or qualified to do them!
"if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority"
I like that one.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I'm going to havea sit-down with my boss and talk it over.
Those inherited new tasks? Why are they yours? Can you train a insubordinate to do them and report on it? Are they something someone else can do and give you to review and sign? If you don't have anyone reporting to you, you will need to sit down with the boss and explain you need someone to have first and major work on the extra tasks. That is not abdicating your responsibly for the tasks it is shifting the work to someone else.
I cover for my boss on a couple of things so he is flexible for clients, but at the end of the day it is still his call on the final decisions. I present the problem, and the proposed solutions it his his call on how we deal with things. If you have a team, make them a team so you can focus.