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29 Jan

Make it easier to delegate

Datum: 2024-01-29 09:00
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Some­times a large task takes longer than we had antic­i­pat­ed. We thought we would have more than enough time to fin­ish before Fri­day and even time to do oth­er tasks, but some­thing comes up and unpre­dict­ed things take time. On Thurs­day morn­ing we realise that we will not have time to work on any­thing oth­er than this one impor­tant task for the rest of the week.

We will then need the help of oth­ers to fin­ish what we cannot.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

Not the best time for think­ing clearly

I am sure you have noticed, as have I, that we are not always at our best and bright­est when we are stressed. If we then also have to think of who to ask for help and show that per­son how the tasks need to be done, we will prob­a­bly feel even more so.

Give your­self a hand

If we had already thought of who to ask for help regard­ing cer­tain tasks and pre­pared that per­son prop­er­ly by the time we start feel­ing stressed, we would have had briefed them faster on what to do and got­ten more time for work­ing on the task we need­ed to prioritize.

Accord­ing to the reg­u­la­tions here in Swe­den, set by the Swedish Work Envi­ron­ment Author­i­ty, employ­ers need to ensure that the employ­ees know who they can turn to to get help and sup­port in their work.

If you are lucky, your employ­er also agrees with this fun­da­men­tal require­ment for han­dling stress at work. If not, there are things you can do about the mat­ter your­self — at least a few.

Do this

If you want to make it eas­i­er for your­self to find relief when you are under pres­sure, take a few moments this week when you have less to do, half an hour will be enough, and do the following.

  1. Browse your to-do-list (which con­tains every­thing you need to do, in detail) and ask your­self to whom you could del­e­gate each and every task instead of doing it your­self. Imag­ine that you would take a few weeks off work. Who would then cov­er for you? There might not be a per­fect replace­ment for absolute­ly all your tasks since some are depen­dent on your com­pe­tence and per­son. It is not a coin­ci­dence that you hold the posi­tion that you do, and you are of course not com­plete­ly replace­able. But, you will most like­ly find a whole bunch of tasks amongst all the things you have been assigned to do that some­one else could do instead. It does not have to be a col­league. I do not have any myself, but there are plen­ty of peo­ple out­side of my organ­i­sa­tion I can hire.
  2. Make a list some­where — in Word, in OneNote, in a text edi­tor, in a spread­sheet or some­thing like it — that will work as a guide when you quick­ly need to ask for help. Write down which task you will del­e­gate to whom.
  3. Save the guide using a name that will make it easy to find. Peo­ple I can ask for help” or Guide for del­e­gat­ing tasks” are sug­ges­tions of some­thing that might pop out from your ordi­nary for­mat­ting of documents.
  4. If you find new tasks that are not nec­es­sar­i­ly depen­dent on you doing them, but which no one else know how to do, it is a sig­nal that you could ben­e­fit from teach­ing some­one else how the task is done. If you do not just want to heave more tasks onto a col­league, offer the col­league to exchange” knowl­edge of tasks so that you might cov­er for each oth­er when the need arises.

Less stress and more ener­gy for what matters

If you make these prepa­ra­tions ahead of the stress­ful sit­u­a­tions when you need help by mak­ing it clear who you could ask for assis­tance, you will find it eas­i­er to del­e­gate tasks when you need to. You will feel less pres­sured before dead­line and can main­tain a high­er qual­i­ty in what you deliv­er since you can relax and focus to a greater extent.

What is your way?

What is your trick to quick­ly get­ting the help you need when things get hec­tic? Share your tips and thoughts with me, please.

(Did you know that adding a per­son­al touch when del­e­gat­ing can make a great difference?)

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