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August 29, 2013

Supporting More Than One Person

When supporting many people, sometimes you’re going to find yourself swamped with tasks that all need to be done at the same time. It’s critical to know whose tasks get top priority.Woman with post it notes

  • Make sure you know what your job description entails. Remind those making requests of your time and effort that you have multiple tasks, and you need to make a judgment call as to which one is your TOP priority.
  • Ask for specific deadlines to help you prioritize. Be sure to get a specific time, not just “ASAP.” ASAP is not a time. If someone cannot or will not be specific, suggest a reasonable time by which you can get the work done.
  • Speak up about scheduling and deadline conflicts. When several people want their work done at the same time, let each one know that there is a conflict. Find out which task has the highest priority. Try asking people to work out the conflict among themselves or ask for enough authority to set priorities on your own.
  • Rely on your manager. He or she has the authority to ensure you’re not overwhelmed and that you can operate at peak productivity.

If you have many people pulling you in many different directions, your productivity will suffer. Let the people you support know that you can be much more productive if you don’t have to communicate with all of them every time a potential change comes up.


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