Self-Directed Bonus Module - Task Management and Delegation
LEARNING MODULE DESCRIPTION:
The adage “work smarter, not harder” has become a staple in the way employees should go about their workday. Managing time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into the day as possible. It’s about simplifying how one works, doing things faster and relieving stress. We get so caught up in being busy that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Even when we focus on working smarter, we’re still often too focused on getting things done. Do you align your schedule with your priorities? Can you focus your attention and avoid distractions? Have you created effective daily routines? Are you able to set boundaries and learn to say “no”?
If you have staff to whom you can delegate tasks or projects, then delegating effectively is an essential skill to help you manage your busy schedule. You will still need to monitor a delegated project, assuming responsibility while allowing the delegate autonomy. Delegation involves entrusting another person with a task for which the delegator remains ultimately responsible. The process begins with the analysis – selecting the tasks that you could, and should, delegate. When the tasks are selected, you should provide the delegate with proper briefing as you cannot hold people responsible for vague or undefined tasks. Monitoring of some kind is also essential. The final stage is appraisal. How well has the delegate performed? Are there revisions that are necessary? Have you provided feedback so the delegate can learn from the assignment?
Note: This is a self-directed learning module. While you will learn at your own pace, we encourage you to work through this in one sitting. Please plan on dedicating about 2 hours of reading, viewing, and reflecting, and then meet with your cohort to discuss and share your thoughts. Alas, you will not be able to delegate this task to someone else.
Click to download:
- The Modeler: "The 4 Quadrant Week Plan" by Stephen Covey (book summary, Feb. 10, 2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z459cW8C3i0
- Book Video Club: "Meetings Suck" by Cameron Herold (book summary, Nov. 22, 2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8w7TJhJnMk
- TED@State Street Boston: “How to Save the World (or at least yourself) from Bad Meetings” (David Grady, Oct. 2013) (link provided under terms of a Creative Commons license, BY–NC–ND 4.0 International) http://www.ted.com/talks/david_grady_how_to_save_the_world_or_at_least_yourself_from_bad_meetings
- Harvard Business Review: “When to Say No” (Bruce Tulgen, Sept./Oct. 2020) https://hbr.org/2020/09/learn-when-to-say-no
- Brian Tracy International blogpost: “8 Task Management Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done.” http://www.briantracy.com/blog/time-management/8-task-management-tips-to-stop-procrastinating-and-get-things-done/
- Harvard Business Review: “How to Stop Delegating and Start Teaching” (Art Markum, Oct. 18, 2018) https://hbr.org/2018/10/how-to-stop-delegating-and-start-teaching
- Your Personal Behavioral Styles Report
- View videos and reflect on the following:
- Looking back, what typically has gotten in the way of better time/task management for you?
- In our current Covid-19 environment what best practices do you use to help you manage your time and tasks in a given week/month?
- Based on Cameron Herald and David Grady (videos) how might you adapt some of their suggestions to an ongoing work environment (virtual/hybrid models included)?
- Identify “Great Ideas” or “Best Practices” from the videos that resonate with you. What impact might these have on you/your work were you to adopt them?
- Read Articles and reflect on the following
- In his article “When to Say No” Tulgen reminds us that a well-defined ask clarifies all aspects of the request. Consider recent asks that have been made of you. How did you respond? In retrospect, how clear was the ask? Consider recent asks that you have made to others. How clear was your ask?
- In his article “When to Say No” Tulgen also discusses the differences between a good and bad “No,” and delivering a good “Yes.” Review your “no” and “yes” responses to others over the last 18+ months during Covid-19. What are you doing well (having positive impact) and what is something you could improve?
- Based on Brian Tracy’s “8 Task Management Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done,” what tip(s) might you consider to incorporating int your day?
- Review pages 22- 25 in your Behavioral Styles Report. What energy (style) do you bring to getting things done? What is the impact on both the task and others? Identify a co-worker whose style is different that yours. How might you approach them differently in order to work more effectively together?
- If you are currently managing/supervising others, identify 1-2 people to whom you could begin to develop by delegating more to. What specific tasks or responsibilities would you start with? How would you evaluate their readiness to do these?
COHORT MEETING (Meet in Cohort to discuss the following topics:
- Remind one another of your Behavior Style results.
- What has stayed with you since our Introductory Module on November 17?
- Discuss some of your reflections from the prework for this Module.
- Learn best practices around setting priorities based on your daily tasks and assignments
- Understand how to clearly assign responsibilities and set clear objectives
- Learn best practices around fostering a climate of individual as well as team accountability