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10 Ways to Annoy Your Boss

10 Ways to Annoy Your Boss

When I was the boss, there were some surefire ways to annoy me. Some of my employees frequently did so. How dare they, I used to mutter to myself! Ungrateful wretches. Fortunately, those I had lined up for execution at dawn were a tiny minority. They were the ones who had dared to question my decisions or had led a coup d’état to topple me, their beloved leader (tyrant!).

All the others who annoyed me would get off with lighter sentences such as life imprisonment or instant exile. Just joking! Seriously though, they all had remarkably similar traits and habits which convinced me that they just had to be got rid of. Learn from them. Here are the 10 guaranteed ways to annoy your boss.

1. You always arrive late

Your boss will not be impressed by the excuses. After a while, the traffic, parking problems, sick children, and delicate health will wear thin, just like her patience. If you are worried about this, there are plenty of ways to always be on time, such as scheduling events 10 minutes early. There are lots of good suggestions in this article on how to cope with time, if you really want to improve. If you have no intention of changing your ways, remember this quote from Lip Hock Yap Ivan:

“If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”

2. You rely far too much on emails

You still have not mastered the email etiquette and this is making your boss mad. You have this irritating habit of copying him on emails that are of minor importance. You have also raised sensitive and important matters by writing it all down. A walk on the wild side or a phone call could have made life easier for everyone. You also have this awful habit of using capitals for subject headings. This is the same as shouting. Your boss is not deaf – yet!

3. You are the office gossip

Your boss knows how much energy you are devoting to this and you have honed your skills to a pretty high level. She has even heard you make gross statements at the water cooler, “Now, this you must not repeat.” She shudders when tales of “bad management” reach her ears and she knows who has upgraded her campaign. Once this gets on the social media, the virus can damage not only staff morale within the company, but also outside it.

4. You need constant reminding

Whether it is a deadline or just a mundane regular task, why do you need constant reminding? It is true that there are some bosses who are micromanagers and their behavior is pathological. They check up on every little detail, including the font size in that report. There is a happy balance and if you find that you are constantly failing to meet deadlines as regards timing and budget, your boss is right to be annoyed.

5. You are always on the phone

Why are you tempting your boss to initiate a no texts, no cell phone ban on the whole staff? Your boss is already having sleepless nights about the impact of all this texting on productivity but is also keenly aware that a total ban might be a boomerang. Employees hate been treated like naughty kids at school. But why push her to that extreme measure?

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“Texting is a supremely secretive medium of communication – it’s like passing a note – and this means we should be very careful what we use it for.” – Lynne Truss

6. You dominate meetings

Yes, you are talking far too much. Colleagues begin to doodle, yawn, shuffle and your boss or team leader has a hard time keeping to the agenda and finishing the meeting on time. She often wonders why some colleagues just did not go for a career in acting, given their passion for strutting on to the stage and talking in monologues.

7. You are living in your own world

This is when your own little microcosm comes into collision with some of the bigger galaxies in the office. You are convinced that you need new software to make you super-efficient. When you push for that, you are unaware this may mean a painful budget cut in another department or simply that a colleague may not be able to attend a skills training course. You just have forgotten the bigger picture or fail to see what the company mission really means.

8. You make a few guesses

If you are stuck for figures in a report, you simply make a few guesses or you make them up. They are perfectly reasonable guesses, of course! But this can come back and haunt you. There will be misunderstandings and transparency among staff will be at risk. It is when you say, “I just made a few assumptions”, your boss sighs and thinks about The Odd Couple’s famous line:-

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“When you assume you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” – The Odd Couple

9. You take lots of sick leave

Your boss needs to know how your work is going to be covered when you are ill. If this happens on a regular basis, then the effects on other members off staff is creating a tsunami! Your boss will be looking at ways to stop you abusing the sick leave policy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” – Oscar Wilde

10. You label everything as “urgent”

You think that your boss needs to know everything and that means everything. You do not bother to distinguish the risk of losing a contract from a blip in delivery procedures. The latter is an inconvenience and probably your job, so your boss does not need to know. Keeping the real emergencies or problem issues for her attention is the name of the game.

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“One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.” – Robert Fulghum, Uh-oh- Some Observations From Both Sides Of The Refrigerator Door.

Now that you know what makes your boss mad, reflect on whether any of the above defects might apply to you. But, of course they don’t – you just read this post between updating your Facebook status and deciding where to have your coffee break this morning!

Featured photo credit: World’s Best Boss/Kumar Appalah via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Freelance writer

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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