When it comes to being an employee, you consider yourself pretty on top of things. You always meet your deadlines. You prioritize your tasks. You can always find exactly what you need, and you hardly ever find yourself in those stressful time crunches.
Your boss, on the other hand? Well, to put it kindly, they’re a bit of a mess. Their office looks like it was hit by a hurricane. They’re constantly handing you projects at the last minute. And, you need to answer the same questions at least five times before they even remember they’ve asked you them before.
Dealing with an extremely disorganized boss can be a challenge—especially if you consider yourself to be organized and methodical. So, here are a few tips to not only survive, but thrive.
1. Communicate Frequently
First things first, you need to have frequent conversations with your boss. Not only does this keep you in the loop on anything you might need to know (because, let’s face it, they might forget to fill you in!), but it also ensures that you aren’t missing anything incredibly important or time-pressing.
Consider setting a time for a weekly chat with your boss when you can talk about the upcoming week and make a list of all of the important projects and tasks that should be completed during those days. It’s also a great time for you to remind your boss about any important things you’re still waiting on. If necessary, make sure to also write these crucial reminders down, so that your boss has a list they can easily reference.
As they always say, communication is key. So, make sure you’re communicating effectively (and frequently!) with your superior.
2. Plan Ahead
When you’re working under someone that’s disorganized and scatterbrained, it’s extra important that you stay on top of your own work and responsibilities.
So, once a week, sit down and take a look at your calendar. Get a handle on any upcoming projects and deadlines, and make an effort to get started on them as early as possible. Don’t procrastinate and let things wait until the last minute.
Doing this prior planning will not only help you be more productive day in and day out, but will also allow you to feel less stressed when your boss inevitably approaches you with that super urgent request. Let’s face it—it’s going to happen. So, you might as well be prepared for it.
3. Offer Help
Did you ever consider why your boss is so ridiculously disorganized? Could it be that they simply have way too many responsibilities on their plate?
If that’s the case, you should definitely consider lending a helping hand. Is there a weekly responsibility you could take off their hands? Is there a big project you could help them out with? Or, is there a meeting you could attend in their place?
Not only will helping your boss out make you look like a great employee (which you are!), but it will also free up some time in your manager’s schedule—which they will hopefully use to bring some order to their never-ending chaos.
It’s no secret that dealing with a disorganized boss is a challenge. Luckily, there are a few strategies you can use in order to make the relationship at least a little bit easier. So, take a deep breath and give these a try!
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