The first question to address is whether we are actually busy.
What does it mean to be busy?
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) discusses that “busyness is a sign of social status”, when in fact it should be thought of as a “mark of servitude”.
HBR state that there are a few ways to help you make time for yourself:
- Take a short walk outside. A study by Stanford University suggests that this powers creative thinking.
- Write down all your outstanding tasks and triage them properly.
- Conduct a time tracking experiment and log how you spend every hour over the course of a month. This will help you understand how you spend your time, so that you can combine, defer or outsource tasks to provide some space to plan and think.
If after these methods you still find yourself busy it’s time to move on to delegation.
Delegation & different types of delegating
The Harvard Business School refers to delegation as the transfer of responsibility for specific tasks from one person to another.”
In this scenario you are delegating your work onto someone else.
‘But what happens when we have no-one to delegate to?’ – this was a question asked by one of our clients at a project management workshop.
- You are lower in the organisational structure
- You are the assistant
- You’re in a team where everyone is busy
This might be the time to consider different types of delegation.
Externalisation & Checklists
We can delegate items from our brain and onto paper, thus relieving brain space. This process is often known as externalisation.
One method to employ for this type of delegation is the checklist. A checklist is “a template of tasks that tell you what to do in order to complete a certain process”.
The checklist addresses two problems:
- Our attention to details and memories fail
- We tend to skip steps even when we do remember them.
By implementing a checklist into your routine you are able to systemise processes, juggle complexity and free up headspace for other tasks.
Use of technology
Another form of delegating is the through the use of technology. Through the automisation of processes you can relieve the workload from employees and onto technology platforms.
For example, using software like Hootsuite to schedule and monitor your social media activity rather than giving that task to an employee.
Our three steps for practising effective delegation are ask yourself:
- Can I delegate to anyone in our organisation? Ask for help or identify that you are available to help other colleagues.
- Can I create a checklists for routine items and a to-do list for non-routine items? Free up some brain space!
- Are there tools that will aid and automise some of our processes? Does this fit within our budget?
Delegation & Make Happy
At Make Happy we try to practice all three types of delegation to relieve our workloads when things get busy.
We can teach you these delegation skills and more in our project management workshops, to find out more get in touch.