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Your time management questions answered by expert life coach Wendy Jago

Is your work colleague driving you crazy with their procrastinating ways? Are you desperate to get that piece of work done but just can’t get others motivated to help you finish it?

Wendy Jago, renowned life coach and author of How to Manage Your Mammoth: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Things Done, will be addressing this common office problem as part of our special time management clinic.
Below is Wendy’s answer to one frequently asked time-management question. We hope that these will inspire you to conquer your own time-management mammoths!


Q. I pride myself on being efficient at work and I’m always able to meet deadlines. Recently I’ve been assigned to a new team at work to deliver a major project but I just can’t get this one colleague to deliver his work on time. What should I do?


A.Your colleague may seem uncooperative, or difficult or a thorn in your flesh but you can’t change them, except by helping them to change themselves!


First, you need to talk with them and find out more about how they feel about the project you are working on. Don’t say, ‘how do you feel about . . .’ directly but do be upfront about the problem. You want them to take ownership of whatever reasons are holding them up and to feel equally responsible for finding a way to move on.


You might say something like, ‘I really need to talk with you because you seem to be the only member of the team who is running behind on schedule for this project. I know that there’s always a reason for something like this. What would you do if you were me? Should I be encouraging? Would you prefer to be reminded every so often? Or would you like some extra help? ‘


What you are implying here is that:

  1. There’s a reason
  2. They may or may not be consciously aware of it
  3. They need to do the job or acknowledge that they are having difficulties and ask for support
  4. You respect them both as a professional and as an adult but they need to step up, which means being honest with you and addressing you as an equal in your working relationship.

Try this out and see what kind of results you get. You may be surprised by how forthcoming your colleague is.