Dealing, Deadline, Dawdling

If a co-worker often fails to deliver what you need to complete a project on time, try to correct the problem with these approaches:

  • Assign the person an earlier deadline than you give others. But even though you’ve built in a time cushion, don’t treat this deadline any differently than others. Example: Send reminders if that’s what you usually do.
  • Send the procrastinator a memo saying you plan to use his or her old facts or figures unless you get new ones by a certain date.
  • Mention the name of a third party and ask if that person could supply the information you need. You might get what you want — when you want it — because the dawdler would rather not involve anyone else.
  • Give the person a copy of an updated report — complete except for what the procrastinator owes you. Attach a note that says, "I’m sending this out ‘as is’ unless I hear from you by X."


Source: Office Hours, The Economics Press Inc., 12 Daniel Road, Fairfield, NJ 07004. As seen in Communications Briefings


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