If you’re less than productive at work, it might have a lot to do with your boss. A recent survey found that the average worker spends 19 hours a week worrying about what their boss is doing, or thinking. So, here’s expert advice to help you get a handle on a difficult manager:

  • The Micromanager. Leadership expert Linda Henman says micromanagers nitpick because they’re insecure. To get a little breathing room, she suggests sending them regular progress reports. That’ll reassure your micromanager that everything’s being handled and cut down on the unscheduled interruptions that disrupt your day.
  • Hands-Off Supervisor. Lynn Taylor wrote Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant. And she says that unless you have a clear definition of what’s expected of you, a hands-off management style could allow important tasks to fall through the cracks. Since that won’t look good on your performance review, suggest you meet with your boss once a week to report your progress, and ask for feedback.
  • The Best-Friend Boss. It’s okay to enjoy the occasional lunch together. But don’t cross the line between “friendly” and “friendship” by discussing private issues, like your relationship. That information might spill over into their perception of your work performance. Like, if the boss knows you’re having boyfriend issues, she might think you can’t handle a tough assignment.
  • The Pushover. Sure, it’s nice to set your own deadlines and work whenever you want. But in the long run, that leads to the sort of complacency that gets people stuck in dead-end jobs. The fix? Career coach Jerry Roberts suggests teaming up with a motivated coworker, and setting your own goals and beefing up any skills you need to stay current.