Cut 3 days of Frustration by Using these Office Secrets

Old PhoneI recently helped a co-worker cut 3 days of frustration off her project deadline, using 1 of my 3 office communication secrets. Here’s the scenario, she was trying to contact another employee to get his approval on the project. He was the last person who needed to sign off on the project changes… and he wasn’t responding. Sound familiar?

There are several techniques that I’ve learned that help keep project deadlines.

Strategy #1
If I can’t resolve an issue with 3 e-mails, I call the person or book a meeting with the people involved. I know this breaks Tim Ferris’ 4 hour work week principles – sorry, but it works when you work within a large company. Sometimes reminding everyone in the meeting or the call what the purpose and goal of the meeting is can be enough to get the project back on track.

Strategy #2
Water torture is very effective because it’s consistently annoying, and over time this has a very good success rate of getting the cooperation you need. The down side is this can take a while to get what you need. What you do is set up a reminder in your calendar to call or e-mail this person. Do it EVERYDAY until you get the results. The calls don’t have to be long or the e-mails well thought out. You can remain “ignorant” and polite the whole time. Just end with a question, “When will you get… done? Just checking the timeline on this.” I haven’t seen anything done this way take over 2 weeks to get resolved.

Strategy #3
Have the other person set a “hard deadline.” Just ask them to give you a final date, and remind them of it. Psychologically speaking, there is a very different effect when the other person gives the deadline. They feel ownership in the process and less controlled. When they have more ownership, they are more committed to getting it done. You’ve just facilitated the process for them, they may even thank you for reminding them and keeping them on track. This third tip came from a great blog called

Now you have some options, some items in your bag of tricks, to handle projects or deadlines that you might have felt were lost causes. If you have other ways to help manage deadlines, please share with the community in the comments below.

Photo Credit: aussiegall

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