When you ask someone"how are things going?".  Do you ever get the response "I am sooo busy".  Come to think of it, this also happens a lot in "non work life" with friends and acquaintances that I have not seen in a while.  This is sad.  Life is too short at work or at home to be sooooo busy.

At work there is a good chance one gets overwhelmed.  However, this does not mean one is "too busy".  Find the root cause. Often the person does not have clarity on their priorities or does not have them categorized into which need to be completed (primary) and which can be done off the corner of the desk with low expectations (secondary).

Being too busy leads to poor quality, low performance and higher levels of stress & anxiety. All management & employees will agree to this.

A GREAT habit to get into to help manage project quality and stress & anxiety is to be systematic and transparent about capacity.  A good PM and Sponsor should be very open with this process and supportive in early stages of the project.

At all times, one should know what their Primary Priorities are and must ensure that their manager is on the same page as them (same priorities). Primary Priorities have a high probability of success (should be completed) and are aligned with the resource capacity and capability.

Then as normally happens, during the day or the week, new priorities come into play.  Each human has a limited amount of capacity, so when the new priorities come into play, the art of trade-off occurs.  Which priority takes precedence (stays as a Primary) and which priority falls to a lower level to the corner of your desk (Secondary Priority).

A great way to help manage this and be effective at communicating to management is having a Priority Matrix or an Objectives Log (there are many software and systems for this).  Each day, one should review their Primary Tactical Priorities/objectives (maybe keep 3 per day) and also each Monday (in parallel), one reviews their Primary Strategic Priorities/objectives (maybe keep 3 for the week).  Then as new ones come into play, you adjust accordingly with feedback from management.

Generally, you could have 10-20 daily objectives that are secondary and maybe another 5-10 weekly objectives that are secondary. Your lists of secondary objectives will never deplete, this is what also ensures you have a job to go to the following week :-)

A great science revolves around this and in part being true to the capacity loads of a resource ties into aspects and teachings of Organizational Design.  A great source to read further can be found at  www.globalro.org