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Dealing with Unreasonable Requests

Dealing with Unreasonable Requests

Photo by Stuart Pilbrow,

You receive an email, among the many others that you receive each and every day. Your colleague or boss calls or comes up to you exactly 2 minutes later and asks if you’ve read it. You think to yourself, “What?!? Is this person crazy?!?”

Has this ever happened to you? I am sure most of you are nodding your heads as you are reading this. It’s amazing of how people don’t have the common courtesy to give you your time and space to get to the request. I am sure that you are snickering under your breath at this point (I’m glad that I could put a little humour in your day).

The “Broken Record” Approach

The best way to combat this is using the “broken record” approach. Keep telling the person that you will get to it as soon as possible. If it’s your boss that’s asking for this information, make sure to read the email right away. Remember that your direct supervisor always gets first dibs on you handling their requests. Everyone else falls into the queue afterwards.

You don’t want your productivity to start falling. The more you multi-task, the less productivity you will output in your daily tasks.

Just remember to keep telling the person (in a professional way) that you will get to it as soon as you can. Even if they are starting to irritate you, keep a smile on your face (even if it’s fake) and repeat yourself until they walk away.

Negotiating Time

If the person persists on bothering you, one thing that you can always negotiate is time. Ask them when it needs to get done and come to a “reasonable” compromise. This way, you will get more time and the requester will get their task completed in a reasonable amount of time.

Remember, you have the right to be human. You are not a robot and people shouldn’t treat you as such.

Can you think of other ways to deal with these types of requests?

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Until next time,

Take care — of your clutter!<br?

More in Organization:
Organize Your Piles of Paperwork
Handling a Disorganized Boss
Calendar in Chief: Schedule like the President
How I Got a Grip on My Workweek
…and more in our Organization section!

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