Step 7 - Share Projects and Delegate Tasks - Synergize - Simply Get Things Done Course

Step 7 – Share Projects and Delegate Tasks – Synergize

(This lesson a part of "10-step Simply Get Things Done" Course)

"If the next action is going to take longer than two minutes, ask yourself, "Am I the best person to be doing it?" If not, hand it off to the appropriate party, in a systematic format. Delegation is not always downstream. You may decide, "This has got to get over to Customer Service," or "My boss needs to put his eyes on this next," or "I need my partner’s point of view on this."."

David Allen, "Getting Things Done (GTD) and the Art of Stress-free Productivity"

Don’t do everything yourself. Get Things Done with others to be truly productive and efficient.

Do you also believe:

  • you can do everything better than others?
  • everything can be done in 5 minutes?
  • it’s a waste of time to explain others how to do stuff when you can do it right away?

Stop. Change your attitude – don’t be like me!

I used to be like this. Thinking I’m the man for the job and I can get stuff done all on my own. Not anymore. Now I’m learning to delegate stuff and it’s a long process but it pays off.

Newsflash: Everyone has a day worth of 24 hours. You can’t stretch it.

Although you’d use Nozbe like a real pro, get all your projects nicely designed, your next actions list waiting to be processed and your contexts ready to help you out – and you’re on a black belt productivity level… the day will still have only 24 hours.

Newsflash: There are people around you who would love to help you out. Just tell them how!

If you have an action coming, before you go ahead and process it – follow the advice of David Allen and ask yourself this simple question:

"Am I the one who should be doing it?"

If you have any doubts about the answer to his question – start thinking about delegating it to someone else and focus on what you should be really doing.

How to delegate tasks to others

There are two basic ways of letting others know you’ve got a job for them:

  • WRITTEN form – Email, Letter, Note, Memo, etc.
  • VOCAL form – phone call, chat message or direct interaction

Both of the forms have their benefits – the vocal way is the most direct and you get someone’s attention right there, but maybe your phone call or chat was disturbing to them or maybe they are not listening as carefully as you think they are and some important detail might escape their attention.

The written form does not have that direct impact but you can write exactly what you want from the other person (describe and put all your thoughts into it) and they can pick it up while they have a moment – you’re not breaking their workflow.

Email is a great way to delegate tasks…

I used to use email for delegating stuff and it worked very well for me. I need my graphics designer to prepare something for me – bang – I send him an email and he knows what he has to do. Someone calls me up and says I need to do something for them? I kindly ask them to send me an email and I’ll get to it when I can.

... but email lacks tracking and control

With so many emails we receive daily it’s hard to keep up and sometimes important issues or deadlines get lost or forgotten. It’s even worse if you use different tools for calendar, project management and email handling…

If you use Nozbe – you can have it all in one place

Nozbe users love the way they can manage projects, actions, notes and files – all in one place. Now you can also share your projects with other people and delegate tasks to them. Here’s how:

SHARE your projects with colleagues/friends/family

We’ve introduced project sharing a while ago and improved it recently. In any project you can simply click on the "share" link and add an email address of the person you want to share your project with.

(Note: if you’re already sharing your other projects with someone, you can simply add them from the drop-down contact list)

When you share projects – DELEGATE tasks to others

and let others delegate tasks to you. It’s really simple - any task can be delegated to anyone. Once you’ve delegated a task to someone – it becomes their next action so they won’t miss it.

Track progress in your Nozbe account

The best thing is that you can track it all in your Next Actions and shared projects – you know if someone has done something or not. You know if there is anything that still needs to be done. Since you’re using Nozbe anyway on a daily basis, you are accessing this information all the time and you’re always up-to-date with current status of things.

Need to explain more? Use Notes or Files attached!

Every project (also a shared project) has a Notes and Files section. Use it to explain what you want people to accomplish and how you things done. Attach files, put descriptive items in notes. You’ll all have everything in one place.

Great for companies and small teams

Sharing and delegating is great for small companies and teams – if everyone has a Nozbe account, you can easily interact with each other. Delegating tasks is a snap with Nozbe and your whole teamwork can be easily tracked in one place where everyone has access and can bring their 2 cents.

Synergy is a beautiful thing. 1 + 1 = 3 … or more!

The last benefit of sharing projects and delegating tasks is the SYNERGY. When you work with other people, everyone contributes their know-how and experience. Thanks to these qualities you can all achieve a lot more than you would have done separately.

The bottom line:

You’re not always necessarily the only person for the job. Sometimes you need to share stuff with others and delegate tasks. Synergy is a great thing and together with your team you can achieve a lot more. In Nozbe you can easily share your projects, delegate tasks, track the progress and also add reference material with Notes and Files. Let’s get things done together! 


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Michael Sliwinski is the founder of Nozbe – a simple productivity web application inspired by the concepts from the book by David Allen: "Getting Things Done and the art of stress-free productivity". You can reprint this article on your blog or web site but ask for permission first.


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Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2008

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