After working with a disorganized boss, blogger Craig Jarrow shares some secrets to maintaining your own effectiveness on timemanagementninja.com:
Keep ahead: You need to stay one step ahead of the boss, ensuring that your work is always done, knowing that at some point the boss will hit the crisis stage and frantically ask you for it.
Find the best way to communicate: A disorganized boss can be frustrating to communicate with, as you can never sure if he is reading your e-mails or losing your status reports left in this physical inbox. Figure out which communication methods work best and stick to those.
Plan for problems: If the boss routinely invites a crisis, be prepared by leaving slack time in your schedule to douse the fire. Keep on top of the status of projects yourself.
Don't wait: If the boss is always late or missing meetings, don't wait for him. Go on with your regular work, and leave it to the boss to track you down.
Don't assume: Don't assume your disorganized boss read your report or knows about a looming deadline. Check the facts yourself, and approach the boss if he seems unaware of something that should be on the radar screen.
Bring solutions to the table: The disorganized boss doesn't need more problems when things are falling apart. Offer solutions.