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10 Apr

Spend less time teaching others

Date: 2014-04-10 11:47 Comments: 0 st

Are you currently responsible for completing a recurring task which you have had on your hands much too long and which you would like to delegate to someone else, but you feel reluctant towards doing so since it feels like such a hassle to teach someone else how to do it?

If so, it is a pity you feel this way.

It means that you are missing out on easing your burden and having more time for what you currently do not have enough time to do. When I have a lot on my hands and life is hectic, I definitely feel very reluctant to spending time on explaining to someone how something is done.  When life is spinning at high speed and we feel stressed, the last thing we want to do is spend extra time teaching others how to do something.

But, we can make this easier than it might appear and only have to put in a minimal amount of extra effort. Let us make this as easy as possible and describe what we do while we are doing it anyway – and this time for the last time!

Do this

  1. The next time you are going to do the task in question, say to yourself that “enough is enough!”.

  2. Define what the task consist of by simply naming it. Try giving it a name which clearly specifies and describes what you intend the end-result to be, for instance “Compile the monthly report on sales-statistics for the management meeting”, “Create and send invoices for hotel-nights to the clients concerned”, “Gather comments on the report from all project-participants” or whatever is appropriate to describe your task.

  3. Now it is time to take action. Record what you do as you do it.
    • Make a simple checklist in your favorite text-editor
    • Draw a process-map charting out all the steps you take
    • Create a new Word-document where you combine both simple written instructions with screenshot in order to make the completion of the task easier to comprehend
    • Get yourself a sound-to-text conversion-app such as Dragon Dictation and describe out loud to yourself what you do so that the app can write it all out instead of you doing so

    Create your description in a format which the person you will delegate to can use effectively and immediately the next time the task needs to be done.  This way he or she does not have to spend time rewriting it into a more accessible format. You might even ask the person in question how she would prefer to view the routine. Or, arrange a meeting with the person and allow her to follow you through the process of completing the task, and then create her own manual describing how it is done. This way you will not have to write the procedure down yourself, but on the other hand you might get stuck answering redundant or irrelevant questions.

    So the more precisely you describe the procedure, that is, the more information you include, the fewer questions will follow your instructions. It might cost you an extra second here or there when you are recording your actions, but I would say that it is worth it.
  4. If you have created a comprehensive description of the task, its prerequisites, how frequently it needs to be done, how to conduct a search for answers when something goes wrong, contacts and other relevant information, it should be rather simple to delegate the task to someone else.

Done! Your burden is now slightly lighter.

Describe now in order to do less later on
If you describe the task you want to delegate while you are performing it, the task of actually describing becomes easier, and is done quicker and with less effort. What has been weighing you down much too long is now lifted off your shoulders and you will have more energy for other, more interesting tasks instead.

What is your way?
How do you make the process of delegating tasks as easy and smooth as possible? Write a comment to share your tip. 

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