Q: “I am extremely organized and always plan my work carefully. I know exactly which tasks I must complete every day in order to meet my deadlines. The problem is that my boss constantly comes up with ad hoc requests and expects me to immediately drop whatever I’m doing to focus on his latest whim.
“Instead of rewarding this impulsive behavior, I usually put his requests aside until I can work them into my schedule. He doesn’t like this, so he has given me a bad. I really can’t figure out how to work with him.” Hopeless
A: As long as you’re in this job, I’m afraid you will need to loosen up a bit. Telling your boss that you’ll get around to his requests when your schedule allows is not too politically bright. Although you clearly believe you are right and he is wrong, the fact is that the two of you simply have different work styles.
This particular personality difference is actually quite common. Highly structured people like to create detailed plans well in advance, while more spontaneous folks come up with new ideas at the eleventh hour. These two types routinely drive each other crazy.
The key point here, however, is that he’s the one doing your performance review, not the other way around. If he views you as obstructive, you are not likely to get a good rating. Given your talent for planning, the obvious solution is to start including time in your schedule for his predictable last-minute requests.
Do you have some colleagues with very different work habits? This may help to explain: Understanding Work Style Differences.