Do you want to work as undisturbed as possible?
Do you want to be able to delegate tasks without having to have to give a detailed explanation on how you want it done over and over again?
Do you want to be less interrupted by colleagues who ask you questions you have answered before and which you frankly do not want to spend any more time answering?
Then create your very own FAQ.
Answer the question before it is asked
“FAQ” is short for “Frequently asked questions” and the term originated in the vast communities of discussion-groups online.
Originally, FAQ was simply a list over recurring questions and their answers which were published so that these questions would not have to be posed over and over again by beginners in each respective field, and thereby “dilute” the content in the discussion.
If you are frequently interrupted by colleagues who “just have to ask you something real quick” or if you want to make it easier for the person you have delegated something to, you should consider creating a FAQ.
The FAQ can contain questions you often get as well as questions you expect to get once the person you have delegated to commences working on the assignment.
Allow others to become independent of you
If your colleagues (or project-participants, clients or others you are involved with) can find the answers to their questions easily in a FAQ, they will be less inclined to bother you and will be able to move on faster with their work when they have run into an obstacle.
They will not get slowed down in their work, they will in turn be able to give the correct answers to the client who asked for a response and you will be able to focus on what you want to prioritize.
- A FAQ can in its simplest form be a document (such as a Notepad-file, a Word-document or something equivalent) with each question as a heading and then the answer as the body text below.
If you have a question, this is where you will primarily search for key-words or –phrases and with ease find the answer to your question (if the question/answer is listed, that is).
- Add the document to one of the common folders you have where your colleagues can access it easily, such as a page on the intranet or in your document-management system. Or, why not share it with anyone via Dropbox or Google Docs.
- If you do not wish to refer your questioners to a FAQ which sometimes can be perceived as impersonal, you can use it for your own purposes.
You can then cut and paste the ready-made answers to the questions into an e‑mail as an answer to the question someone sent you, so that you won’t have to articulate the same answer over and over again.
- To increase the utility and use of your FAQ, add questions as soon as you think of them or someone asks you something, so that the FAQ becomes a bank of knowledge that continuously grows.
The result is increased efficiency
The instances I have found the answers to my questions in a FAQ are innumerable, and I am equally grateful every time for not being kept waiting for an answer.
If you create a FAQ, you are doing yourself and the person who will ask you questions, a huge favor.
What is your way?
How do you help you colleagues to get answers to their questions quickly, so that you get more time to work on the tasks you prioritize more? Write a comment and spread your knowledge.