Making too much effort at work

Thread Starter


Joined Aug 25, 2011

My duty at work is to perform different tests on the product and report to the managers.
I'm very dedicated to work, and when I'm there I'm focus at work most of the time.

In comparison to others, I'm much more productive.

I find myself performing so many tests and sending so many reports during my day of work, that I'm afraid that I'll do a mistake in one of the tests and it'll be found out in front of all of the managers when I send my report.

I always carry the feeling of what would happen if I made a mistake after already sending the report, I hate this feeling.

Can you advise me how to manage myself at work?

Should I say NO to my supervisor when he hands me more tasks (and explain to him that I'm already taken by previous tasks) so I'll be more sure of the correctness of every test, and will also perform less tests?



Joined Oct 2, 2009
Yes, by all means explain to your supervisor that your work load is already full. Know your limits. If you are a valuable employee, your supervisor should be able to recognize this and should know that it is not in the best interest of the company to jeopardize good quality control.


Joined Jul 3, 2008
I think MrChips has good advice. Still, you should analyze the situation yourself logically, because there are probably many subtle details to your situation that are hard to convey in a couple of sentences.

For example, it's normal to worry about making mistakes and it shows you are conscientious, but the real question is, do you make mistakes often? If you have a very very high accuracy rate, then you may be overly diligent and putting too much effort into accuracy. This also relates to the consequences of making a mistake. Of course you might be a little embarrassed, but that's not the main issue. The real issue is what are the consequences to the company if a mistake is made. Does it endanger people? Does it cost significant money? Does it risk losing a customer? etc. etc. ...

If you can be 10 % more productive and your accuracy rate goes from 100% down to 99.9 %, the company may benefit, depending on the answers to the above questions. In other words, despite the fact that you might be the most productive person there, being a perfectionist may be holding you back from being even better.

On the flip side, perhaps you are working right at your limit in terms of productivity and accuracy. You may have a keen sense of the right balance already. If disturbing this balance will make the house of cards come crumbling down (so to speak), then by all means follow MrChips' advice.


Joined Oct 23, 2010
I think you could explain that there are tradeoffs.

Emphasize your stated view of your work ethic without sounding like you are bragging or accusing others but emphasize in order to do more, or do it in less time will result in you not maintaining the thoroughness you feel is important for you to maintain the quality of your work. Also realize that the same thoroughness may not be required for every test and develop the personal skill to make sound judgements as to when more speed or quantity of work is the right choice as opposed to slower, more meticulous level of productivity. There are times when that is the right thing to do however. After, all it is possible to test something to death or beyond some reasonable or expected level based on the actual need. Ask your supervisor for input as to when it may be appropriate to do that in response to the company's goals and needs.

Don't just give in or give up on doing the best job for your employer. You sound like the kind of employee we need more of in the workplace. Too many are complacent and unreliable and cannot be trusted with important jobs. Maybe your expertise and competence is why the work on your plate piles up at times. As a supervisor in a manufacturing facility I found truth in the truism that 'If you need to get something done right and maybe quickly, ask someone who is busy'.

Don't hesitate when another load is brought to your plate, to explain existing workload and ask for help prioritizing so you can serve the company best by doing the most important task first and the most critical task, the most thoroughly.

And I agree with MrChips and steveb. No one is perfect but we should try to be as much so as we can given the circumstances.

My humble advice.


Joined Oct 23, 2010
If you are busy and doing a quality job, expect to be asked to be busier. You will learn more and likely continue to be busy at this or another job when a layoff etc comes in tough times.
And if you ask the bearer of more work to help you determine what operative priorities that you should follow you will be ahead in more ways than one. And certainly don't use that approach to lay blame on someone else. Take responsibility for and pride in what you do. Use the priorities to help you do the best possible work for the company. They will notice and you will be rewarded. Rewards are not always more money, less work, more time off but may only be knowing that YOU have done a good job, and I'll bet some of those other rewards show up over the course of your career.


Joined Jun 7, 2009
I had hired an accountant years ago and she did a pretty good job, but spent way too much time trying to wring out every penny. I eventually let her go, only because she needed to get on with life.

Thread Starter


Joined Aug 25, 2011
Guys, thank you very much.
every one of your messages gave me some things to think about.

I'll surely let you know how it goes.