August 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts August 1999 Current Issue
August 1999

Dear Answer Lady,
Planning is a big part of my job but not the only one. Recently, I've been assigned side projects that have cut into my planning time. Now my boss is questioning my ability to "multitask." What to do?
In the Weeds

Dear In the Weeds,
In your frustrated state, you will be tempted to wallow in despair and demonize your boss. Both of these approaches will feel exquisitely good, but they won't solve your problem. Your first step should be to get introspective. Even creatures at the bottom of the food chain can adapt to their surroundings, but honestly, can you? If the answer is "no," it's time to critically examine the way you work. If you have less time and more work than before, the routines and time-budgeting strategies you used to rely on will become a ball and chain. But, in the end, if you feel you truly have reached an impasse, it's time to confront your boss firmly but calmly. It's important that you position the issue as strictly a business concern. Impassioned "I can'ts" and "woe-is-me's," no matter how righteous, will sound like whining to the boss' jaded ear.
Live to help&
The Answer Lady

Got a work-related problem that requires attention from an expert or a friendly, disinterested third party? The Answer Lady is both. Write to Answer Lady, Meetings & Conventions, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07094, or send e-mail to

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