Originally posted by Craig Jarrow

I’ve seen this swing both ways… sometimes the culture of a church is highly structured and uber organized.

Sometimes it’s the opposite.

But most of the time, it’s a hodge-podge of different styles, temperaments, and levels of organization.

And that’s as it should be.

But it can be extremely frustrating for staff members. Especially more organized staff members who have to work with more freestyle, less organized individuals on your staff. This is even worse when your boss or supervisor is…well, let’s say…less than organized.

Craig Jarrow, the ‘time management ninja’ offers these tips for working with disorganized team members and  in particular, bosses:

  • Ask Lots Of Questions – If your boss is not forthcoming with information, then go on the offense. Ask lots of questions about updates, statuses, and any information that you need. Be clear that you need timely information in order to do your best work.
  • Follow-Up On Tasks – Don’t assume something you passed along to your boss has been addressed. Follow-up to ensure completion of tasks, even ones you pass up the chain.
  • Over-Communicate – If you boss is overwhelmed with information, make sure you clearly and regularly communicate. Schedule regular one-on-one updates. Just as important, deliver a written Weekly Status update on project progress and challenges.
  • Beat That Deadline – Complete work ahead of deadlines to ensure your boss has time to review. This also allows adjustments and corrections (hopefully not rework!) ahead of important deliverable dates.
  • Ask For Feedback – This is another area where you need to be forward. If your boss is too busy to provide feedback, make sure you seek it out. Don’t assume and don’t waitfor feedback. Ask for it.
  • Stay One Step Ahead Of Them – Don’t wait to act. Be proactive and bring your boss solutions instead of waiting for problems to catch fire. If he or she is already behind in their work, they will doubly value your proactive efforts to get things done.
  • Be Your Own Cheerleader – Make sure you stand up for your work and that you communicate about your successes. I have seen entire teams “forgotten” when their disorganized boss did not communicate about their hard work. Always be your own biggest cheerleader.
  • Make Them Look Good – Part of your job is to make your boss look good. This one gets some people. Never underestimate the power of making your boss look good. Resist the urge to let your disorganized boss drown in their work. That is not a recipe for success, nor is it how teamwork works. (If you can’t make your boss look good, then it may be time for you to move on.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Craig offers you a ton of great time management advice at his excellent blog “Time Management Ninja.” You can check it out here!