One of the best ways to get what you want is to be direct. Ask for it clearly. Be polite, not apologetic. What do you want? Describe the end result or deliverable in as much detail as is necessary for the other person to understand what you want. To do this properly, you need to be precise about what you want; think it through carefully so you can articulate it unambiguously. When do you want it by? Again, be precise. By Monday is not precise enough, unless you are okay with delivery up till 11:59 pm on Monday. More precise would be Monday at 9am or by close of business on Monday. In what format do you want it? If you have preferences, state them. Do you want "hard" copy or electronic copy? If electronic copy, do you care if it is a Word document or a PDF? Black and white or color? It is helpful if you state the "why" behind your request. This gives the other person perspective about the job. For example, you might say "I need you to summarize our sales for the 4th quarter by product line and region. I need this information by 9am on Monday. I will be using the information for a proposal to one of our biggest clients and I must digest the information before inserting it into the proposal. I must mail the proposal on Monday." More an interesting article on being assertive and avoiding the word "try," click here.