How To Say No To Boss For Overtime – 6 Quick Tips

Written By Aleena

Overtime sucks, we understand; they are not healthy for a work-life balance. If your boss is asking for it, here’s how to say no to the boss for overtime.

Overtime is especially bad for workaholic people. Overtime is an hour past the standard work-day, which is extra time worked.

How To Say No To Boss For Overtime – 6 Quick Tips

Overtime pay rates are more significant than your hourly rate.

For example, if you make $10 an hour and work 30 hours a week, you will have made $300 that week.

However, if you were to work 33 hours that week (overtime), your total wages would come out to $330.

No matter what the wage you get, you disturb your work-life balance. Here are quick tips to say no to boss for overtime:

1. Always Have Things To Do:

It is not advisable to always say no when the boss asks to work extra. It gives the impression that you are lazy or inefficient.

how to say no to boss for overtime

Hence, always have tasks or projects to complete at work.

When someone asks for overtime, you will be able to push through with your existing project. You will be able to meet your deadline.

In this way, you’ll also save time in the long run. It’s a matter of completing what you started earlier than usual.

2. How To Say No To Boss For Overtime – Disagree:

As soon as someone requests overtime from you, ask questions like “when” and why they need it.

If there are legitimate reasons that cannot wait until regular working hours, you can work it out.

If they give reasons such as “the deadline is coming” and “I’m overloaded,” say no to the boss for overtime.

Argue that these are not proper reasons and should give more time initially.

3. Cycle Through The Tasks:

Do not overwhelm yourself with tasks if you sort them out.

For example, if there are three tasks to complete in a week, take the easiest one first when working overtime.

Then come back after finishing it too early when they request another project or task.

By doing so, you’ll feel much better than running through several hectic functions at once.

4. How To Say No To Boss For Overtime – Be A Team Player:

It is especially true for employees with a better position. If they ask you to work extra hours, it is because of the importance of the task or job. How to say no to overtime.


Tell them that you’ll be happy to help out on your terms.

For example, politely decline if:

– Someone asked you to come in at 4 AM during a weekend to help monitor system security.

Overtime would run against your schedule for family time.

Also, tell them that everyone else has gone home. It’s not suitable for the boss to stay longer than everyone else.

5. Work Overtime Only When Necessary:

Another method is telling your boss that you’re willing to do bonus hours when necessary.

You can do it when there is a special event or deadline approaching. Let your boss know that you want to contribute, but only if they pay you for the extra hours.

6. How To Say No To Boss For Overtime – Be Flexible With Your Availability:

If your task or projects require you to work late, don’t offer to come in early too. The method is optimal for people who love their jobs and want to keep it that way.

It’s especially true if the company offers flexible working hours or telecommuting options.

choose kids

You can come into work early or stay late depending on your preference till you complete the task.

Not agreeing right away gives yourself time to think about what is best for you.

7. If Working Overtime, Take A Break Once In A While:

No matter what method you use to say no to boss for overtime, make sure you don’t over-work.

Overtime should be for times like deadlines or emergencies.

If you are looking for How to decline overtime. Make it a point to take a break and keep yourself physically and mentally fresh. Your boss must know what your limits are as well.

Why Say No To Boss For Overtime – 10 Consequences

Frequent overtimes affect both your practical and personal life both. Here are some consequences of working overtime:

1. You’ll Have Less Time For Yourself:

Working overtime is not only bad for your personal life, but it can also affect you emotionally.

It affects your mental and physical well-being, and you could suffer from mood swings. You also can’t spend as much time with family and friends as you should be.


Try to keep personal time out of the workplace not to affect you or those around you.

2. Why Say No To Boss For Overtime – You May Need To Quit:

People who work overtime tend to quit their jobs more frequently than those who don’t.

If it is frequent, it could affect your position in the company, which is why they ask for overtime in the first place.

It may make them switch you to a different department or force them to let you go altogether. 

If quitting isn’t an option, then think about how many hours you can put into your job. The hours you put should not affect your practical and personal life.

3. You Could Lose Your Self-Respect:

It’s essential not to lose self-respect in the workforce, especially when your boss.

If they ask for overtime, politely decline and make sure you let them know why too. Be honest with yourself, and remember that you deserve a life outside of work.

Please don’t let them take advantage of you by working forever without anything in return. If your boss is understanding, then there is less of a problem.

However, don’t give in to every request if it affects your personal life too much. 

4. You May Develop Health Problems:

People who work long hours for years on end develop health problems.

Our body doesn’t work like that, and it could lead to severe problems such as heart attacks.

Don’t put yourself at risk by working longer than you should. If someone else can do the task instead, let them.

It’s essential to take care of your mental and physical health to continue doing an excellent job.

5. Why Say No To Boss For Overtime- You’ll Lose Your Social Life:

Your work is vital, but so are your friends and family.

work life balance

Working overtime can only help you lose those connections and social gatherings.

It would help if you had a life outside of work, or it would affect your productivity and efficiency in the office.

Someone must understand what to do without making you stay late every day.

If working overtime interferes with this goal, then it’s not worth it.

6. They Can Take Advantage Of You:

It’s important to know when you are being taken advantage of in the workplace.

They can be asking for more than what you can give in return. Here chances are someone else is covering for your work while you’re not present.

You need to set boundaries to avoid this issue altogether.

7. You’ll Lose Sleep And Your Productivity Will Suffer:

Working overtime doesn’t mean getting more done, which defeats the purpose.

Your productivity will sink, and it may affect other tasks that come into the office later on.

People who work too much tend to get less sleep. It makes them sluggish and unfocused throughout the day.

Your boss must know your limitations so that you can continue doing well.

8. They Can Place You On The Guilt Trip:

If you feel that your boss uses guilt to get more out of you, then it’s time to stand up for yourself.

It would help if you never allowed anyone to take advantage of you, especially in your career.

say no to boss for overtime

Be honest with them and clarify how much overtime is okay for you. Do it before your boss requests more from you each week or month. 

9. You’ll Join The ‘Broke’ Club:

People who work overtime have difficulty getting out of the financial hole.

Since there aren’t enough hours in a day, they spend less money on personal things such as:

– Going out with friends

– Taking part in activities that would lower their stress levels

It only worsens the problem. It’s essential to set limits for yourself before you run out of time to spend money on other things you enjoy.

10. You’ll Get Boredom:

If you work overtime, it often means that your boss trusts you enough to do the task they assign to you.

While this is a great compliment, boredom will kick in if you’re doing the same task over and over again.

It would help if you remained busy, and you must challenge yourself.


In conclusion, you need to balance work and personal life. If you over-extend yourself, your work will suffer in the long run.

When working extra hours, it is essential to set boundaries with your boss to know what you are capable of doing.

There has to be an agreement on both ends about what is acceptable and not.

Always know how much overtime you are willing to put in and stick to it. If you do not, you will only burn out sooner or later.

Take advantage of all these tips by saying no to the boss for overtime without fear. 

In this way, you can do what is best for everyone involved. Moreover, you can avoid work burnout at the same time.

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