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Workload Teamwork Self-Insight Nagging

Part of my job is to do administrative work that is needed by employees in other departments. When the work is done, I send it to them. There is a manager in one of these departments that sends me email every other day asking if I am done yet. I cannot stand seeing these emails from her, but I politely respond that the work is in progress and I'll send it when I'm done. How can I stop her from sending these annoying messages?

There is no question that it is annoying to be pushed, prodded, and nagged to do your work, but the real question is whether you need this type of expediting. If you look at your past performance, are you a person who gets the job done quickly and on time, or does your work tend to run late?

If you are a solid performer who delivers quality work on a timely basis, then there are a couple of strategies to deal with the annoying emails. One is to tell this individual that you are placing a high priority on the work for her, and you'll have it for her as soon as possible. Of course, she will probably send you another email tomorrow. A more proactive approach that should actually stop her email is to send her brief updates every few days.

However, if she has good reason to prod you, then you need to look at your performance, identify the factors that are causing the delays, and put a plan of correction in place. Either way, if you can fill her needs, she'll stop filling your mailbox.

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