Monday, September 5, 2011

The 4 D's of Effective Management

 If you ask most managers - they will tell you that being an effective manager today is significantly harder than even a few years ago.  Reasons range from the economy, attempting to do more with less, and the rise in technology - which has many distractions.

I read somewhere that email is "Someone else's to do list for me." I love that - and I always try to remember it when I browse my inbox while trying to get actual work done.  When navigating through email and the many tasks on my to do list - I've subscribed to the 4 D's:
        • Do it
        • Delegate it
        • Delay it
        • Dump it
Do it

Does it need to be done?  Does it need to be done now?  Why wait?  Do it.

Delegate it

Should I personally be tying myself up in this task or is there someone else who can do this?  I've stopped trying to control everything - and delegating completes the task and leaves me out of it. WIN!

Delay it

Many things seem urgent at first.  Delaying will not only give you time to see how important it is - it will allow you to focus on tasks which made it to the "Do it" list.  I've saved emails in the "Delay" folder, and read them weeks later and if I had taken action on them - I'd have wasted my time.

Dump it

I mentioned it above - the worst thing an effective manager can do is to try to control everything - so I stopped trying to.  This lead to me dumping lots of tasks I would normally involve myself in.

What else can you dump?  For a week, try to dump a few tasks you would normally do and see what cause and effect this has on your effectiveness.  You'll be surprised at how not doing things feels so liberating!

Got a tip on how you are more effective?  Please share it below.