There are three ways:

  1. Jump into it and work hard. When you are assigned some work – you start working on it right away – stay up nights and work weekends until it’s done. This seems efficient but is the wrong route.

First take stock, understand and clarify the assignment. Ask what is expected of you and when. Then make a work plan and have it approved. As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

It could be that yours is not an important project? Or it’s crucially important? It might be needed ASAP – or maybe you don’t need to “kill” yourself getting it done.

  1. Don’t give any interim progress reports. What for? You are clear about the assignment, and you know what to do. You can get it done on time. This is the wrong (childish) approach.

Feedback and updates are the most important part of a job assignment. You need to give feedback to your boss, and others involved, such as your subordinates and peers and sometimes even your customers. Many tend to think it’s childish to keep updating and clearing things. On the contrary, it’s not childish, its professional. Updates can be short and done in minutes. Updates prevent problems. Updates build acceptance.

  1. Surprise everyone with a great and fantastic final report. If during your project you discover new and better ways to achieve goals, or if you want to propose some major changes you know when make a big difference to your organization, keep it a secret until you make the big reveal. That’s a sure way to get shot down – in flames.

The greatest idea in the world will get shot down by your boss or your peers, if you surprise them. You must involve them from the beginning and during. Give them an understanding of what’s coming. Then and only then do you present them with a final well presented, well documented, well written, final report with good visual breaks. This way you are preventing them from rejecting your conclusions.

Be a pro:

  1. Plan your work
  2. Give very regular feedback
  3. Prevent rejection not invite it

Good luck and thank you.