Here’s a scenario: It’s late Friday afternoon. You’re pretty much done for the week — checked your calendar, your to-do list, your email. You are set to leave, get your things together, and organize your desk before beginning your weekend.

Then it happens. An email with “IMPORTANT” or “URGENT” in the subject line. And it’s only addressed to you. Great. Now you have to take care of this little surprise before you can properly start your weekend. And that’s really not fair. (I know that even when I am the one sending the “IMPORTANT” or “URGENT” email.)

So whenever you’re in a tough spot and need something done quickly, avoid being that person by considering the following:

  1. How many people is this affecting? Before pushing another person, evaluate whether or not your problem is really worth stressing one or more of your co-workers out.
  2. What time is it? Bad news at the end of a work day could mean avery late night for some people. Save it for the next morning when they can think more clearly about a solution.
  3. Can it wait? Realistically, some deadlines are more like guidelines. Use your judgment. Sometimes things take time. If that’s the case, asking for an extension usually isn’t a problem.

Do you have other ideas about how to avoid stressing out your co-workers? Leave a comment below!