Written on the 8 February 2014 by National Australia Bank
Establish written procedures for dealing with common events so you can delegate routine tasks wherever possible. For example, develop clear systems others can follow for handling sales queries, logging customer contacts, answering queries, processing sales and invoicing.
Arrange procedures for monitoring performance, until you’re certain the tasks are being performed efficiently. Once systems are established, in many cases you should be able to stop worrying.
Build unpleasant or long-term tasks into your routine. For example, automatically call late payers the week a bill becomes overdue. Or, if you have to monitor a project, make sure everyone knows you will want progress feedback at the same time every week.
Handling information better
Find ways of dealing with information overload. For instance, ask for the information you need in a form that suits you. Ask for summaries or charts if you find them easier to deal with.
Consider regularly analysing or summarising the information coming in. For example, summarise reasons for complaints, so you can draw up ways to tackle specific causes.
Restrict your information gathering to what you really need to know. Exclude areas outside your responsibility that don’t affect you.
Apply this four-part procedure to all paper that comes across your desk:
1.Act on it – if it’s relevant and important.
2.Delegate it – if it’s relevant but less important.
3.File it – if it’s relevant but not immediately important.
4.Otherwise, bin it.
Set deadlines for making decisions. Don’t wait until you know everything.