(Original post from Career Contessa ):

Improving your relationship with your work—and your boss—comes down to one thing: clear communication.

We’ve all done it—you work hard, all week, on projects that you thought were the most important, only to have your boss ask you on Thursday how the one project you neglected is coming along. Time for cramming and overworking to make sure you meet that deadline tomorrow.

Well, what if we told you there’s a way to be certain that you and your manager are on the same page? There’s a two-step email system that holds all the answers. And it’s so simple, it just. might. work.

Step One: The Monday Morning Email

Basically, you want to set expectations for the week from the get-go. Explain your top priorities for the days ahead, along with any secondary or ongoing projects that you may be able to work on if time allows. Ask if your boss has any suggestions or alterations to your agenda.

This email should be short, sweet, and to the point. No reason for any fluff! Read an example of what my email would look like below.

Subject: My Plan for the Week of Nov. 20

Dear Kit,

Here’s a peek at my prioritized to-do list for this week. Let me know if I should make any changes. 

Top Priorities (Completed this week)
1. Add Natalie Franke Interview to CMS
2. Prepare for/Execute Editorial Meeting Agenda
3. Write Article for Finding Excitement in the Workplace

Ongoing Projects 
1. Salary Project/Data+CMS
2. Editorial Calendar—February

Any feedback is appreciated. 

Thank you!

This initial email clearly communicates each of your expectations and shows organization on your part. Added bonus: it showcases your ability to take initiative, as well as your project management skills. You can also use this email as a reference throughout the week, for those “What am I supposed to be doing again?” moments.

Step Two: The Friday Update Email

At the end of the week, you want to send a recap summarizing where each project stands and what you completed during the week. Be sure to list any unfinished items, work that still needs to be looked over, and include any questions or clarifications you may have.

Subject: Update from the Week of Nov. 20

Dear Kit,

Here’s what I was able to complete this week. I added some questions/pending items going forward.

Completed Tasks
1. Added Natalie Franke Interview to CMS
2. Executed Editorial Meeting—Reflected all updates to titles/leadboxes
3. Finished Article: Excitement in the Workplace (In Drafts)
4. Pulled Data for Salary Project

Ongoing Projects
1. Need to write intro in CMS for Salary Project
2. Editorial Calendar—February/Who are we interviewing?
3. January Kickstarter—Team meeting soon?

That’s it for now, I’ll follow up next week. 

Have a lovely weekend, see you Monday.

This follow-through allows your boss to clearly see what you were able to finish, and what projects need more time. It also stands as an easy reminder for you come next Monday, when you’re writing that “This is what I’m doing this week” email.  

So easy, right? Try it out this week, and see if those miscommunications with your boss fade away.

Read original post at Career Contessa.