I work in a very small privately owned manufacturing business (<5 administrative employees) as the only web developer (official title, but see second paragraph). My boss is the owner.
I currently have two large projects (rebuilding an old site, managing remote workers to make a new site). I maintain two CSR e-mails and a phone (~20 calls/week). I manage orders for two separate brands. I operate a production machine and its associated physical labor. I am quickly becoming the office go-to for everything from "where is this file?" to graphics programs problems.
None of these things are an issue individually, but taken all together... I know everyone says they do three people's jobs these days. I feel I'm probably doing six or seven people's high-level responsibility and immediate priority jobs. I am having severe difficulty juggling everything. This exacerbated by me working alone (there's no one for me to work with closely especially re: code-related projects). It's stressing me out. My responsibilities all seem equally important and priority is extraordinarily difficult to sort out.
I also have ADHD. I was medicated when much younger and I've been in therapy for coping strategies within the last three years. I'm not in active treatment.
If I don't answer my phone, someone will be angry. If I delay processing orders or responding to e-mails, customers will be angry. If I don't do production, I delay other departments. If I don't dedicate ample time for review and communication, the remote worker project will fail. If I don't continue with the other big project, I further dig us into a hole of time-sink.
I have been managing thus far, but the stress is wearing at me, and more things seem about to fall on my shoulders. I know I have mental limitations. I am reaching them. My situation does not seem unique in the company; everyone is in similar straits.
We're in the process of taking on a remote team, with myself as a project manager, to flesh out an entirely new subset of the business. The boss doesn't seem to understand the amount of time/input necessary for success: though they mentioned they are low on time and stretched thin already. It feels to me as if this project is going to fall squarely in my lap.
I sincerely believe I do not have the time to responsibly and adequately manage this project.
I also do not know enough to manage this project to success. I wasn't given training on the things we make or how we make them. I'd have to ask many questions of the boss, which becomes difficult when their working hours are otherwise occupied.
The thought I am responsible for spending many thousands of dollars on a remote team (as aforementioned, web developer; as aforementioned, I work alone and have zero professional team management experience) is hanging over my head like a black cloud of doom.
Things I've done to try and alleviate the issues so far:
- I had us prepare a lot of documentation for this remote worker project. This was effective, we do have documentation now, at least.
- But we've only just started discussions with remote workers, and I'm already having difficulty communicating with the boss. The requirements are already changing, too.
- I have tried to emphasize the importance of finishing a current project before moving on -- e.g., finishing the old site overhaul means a dramatic increase in time for other projects.
- This doesn't seem to have worked, as we're plunging ahead with the remote worker project anyway.
- I received a raise, extremely recently. I figured more money, less stress.
- Nope. Thursday I was up tossing until 3 AM, and eventually got up to cry because I couldn't stop thinking. I no-showed Friday because I couldn't handle going in on three hours of sleep.
- I have tried to complete my work ahead of schedule -- especially where production/labor tasks are concerned.
- As production occurs on a set schedule, however, I'm left sitting with the production materials ready for someone to put them together, resulting in an interruption (albeit mild) days later when someone is free to complete the product. It is also not always possible to anticipate the work; see the next sub-bullet.
- I have requested the boss prioritize tasks for me.
- This happens verbally, and changes daily, if not hourly. Some days, it's 2 PM and I learn I have to finish this thing so another department can move forward. Then it's 4 PM and another thing needs to be finished. Or it's 11:30 and an immediate-need customer order appears and I have to spend the next hour on that. I don't really get a chance to plan most of the time, and this honestly prevents effective work on things like the old website or the new remote worker project. If it's 2 PM and the rest of my day is suddenly occupied, I may not get a chance to adequately answer a critical question from the remote worker team until the next day. I can see the remote worker project getting mired with delays like that because it already happens elsewhere. Or, I'm in the middle of developing some feature, and instead of getting the code to a point where I can pick it back up tomorrow, I have to leave it in the middle of some problem.
- I have tried to alter my state of mind and look at the responsibilities I am being given as a measure of trust and faith in my skills and abilities.
- This helps to a small degree, but it doesn't really align with my world-view and doesn't do anything at all for the immediate stress of overload and responsibility. Unfortunately, it is essentially a meaningless platitude to me.
Core issues I am trying to address & ideas for addressing them:
- What is the best way for approaching this remote project? Should I try to explain again that it'd be important for us to finish the current overhaul project?
- I have not shared the diagnosis at work -- maybe I should?
- Are there strategies for enforcing organization and stress-coping I have not yet tried, outside of the above section? If anyone has specific strategies for professionally organizing with ADHD, I'd especially appreciate this.
- I don't know how to say, "I have a truly large and varied number of high priority responsibilities and giving me more to worry about is going to make me burn out spectacularly and something fundamental has to change if we are to avoid this." I also don't know if that's appropriate to say, especially without documentation. How does one document that they are overloaded and things need to be compromised or deprioritized constantly? How does one do so when everything is verbally communicated?
- Related to the above, I would like to ask for a reduction in non-web-relevant duties (primarily CSR and production/physical labor). The CSR in particular would likely require the hiring of another person. I have concerns this will look very bad especially given the raise?