Thanks all, very good advice here. Sorry I've not replied earlier, but I was too upset even to read the forums! I started working with my boss Feb 2008, and realised 6 months later I couldn't work well with him and started actively looking for more work. Another 18 months later I gave up and then started looking around for ways to make my work situation better, and hence found GTD. The task list is only the list of high priority work, we are supposed to specialise in two areas of expertise, his way of reducing my workload was to reduce the focus on one of them. I have known other people I have worked with previously come into my company and leave because of the huge workload that seems to be expected on a regular basis.
Part of the problem seems to stem from me not working long hours to get it done. I have co-workers doing 50-60 hours a week, and I find it really hard to do that because of my family responsibilities, I can do do 45, occasionally get close to 50 but not often. My boss is often working weekends at the moment, and I think he's frustrated because I'm not. Oh, and none of that overtime is paid, we're all on government salaries.
He is a perfectionist, that is well known by many people. For example, a tour was planned to take some other government people around our plant. Initially it was just going to be a guy from another group driving them around talking about features of the plant. My boss got me to organise meeting with him, insisted an agenda be done, a map made up of the tour route, a pack for each person with several reports and information etc. Everything he does has to be bigger and better and more impressive. He will insist on refining the wording of everything I write - literally sits next to me at the computer and discusses wording of the sentences (he does this to many others too). When other people write up two pages for an expenditure approvals, we have to write ten. It just means that things take 5 times longer than they would working for any other person, and because I can't put in the hours he would like, I just fall behind.
Ask him about priorities, its all a priority. Not has to do now, but all should have been done months ago. He likes to be ahead of the game by years, but doesn't like to help or mentor. I ask him if I need to make an official file for the task he's just given me, he gets flustered and jabbers on for half an hour because he can't handle answering detailed questions like that. He likes to give out work but not help with doing any of it.
I think I have improved a lot since starting GTD, I'm also a lot more confident, however the workload has increased faster than my GTDing skills. I have not been keen to change jobs as my husband has injured his back at work and is awaiting surgery, so I'm wanting work to be stable as things are unsettled at home at the moment. Also, this job is really flexible and allows working from home and more locally. The rest of the people in my team are highly supportive and really great to work with, so I have one difficult person and 3 fantastic people, and then many other good people I work with in other teams. Seems a shame to leave because of one person.
Am wondering if there is a way that I can learn to work with him in spite of his difficulties.