Murder Your Task List (Dump. Delegate. Die)
By Jenny Poon, Founder, CO+HOOTS
As Co+Hoots has grown through the years, the workload has increased dramatically, but the number of people doing it hasn’t. We consciously made the decision to begin automating as many functions as possible, which has allowed us to increase our efficiency and peace of mind through all the chaos. Workflow tools like Asana, Zapier, Google Forms, Instagantt, Jing, Pingboard and Templana have further opened time and flexibility by streamlining and automating.
As you grow your business, committee or give back project, take a moment to think about how you can make it as efficient as possible. Most likely, you will be repeating the same or similar activity next year, so ask yourself, “What can I do today to make this easier next time?” The small investment of time up front is worth it.
Document your steps, big and small, as if you’re training someone new, very new. Taking down this level of detail allows you to think critically of that actions importance for completion today, while also laying the foundation for future success. You will be benefiting either your future self or the future leaders of your committee, allowing you to focus on new tasks and taking it to the next level.
Co+Hoots has been using the project management software Asana to help us manage this process. It’s a free program (for teams up to 15) that is popping up in more and more companies because of its effectiveness in managing group projects.
We use it at CO+HOOTS because it’s great for managers who hate managing! It provides clear visibility of everyone’s tasks and status, so as a manager I can see my team’s full plate of responsibilities and know if they are on track. I don’t need to micromanage or check in, I just let them murder their tasks all day.
Asana tutorials are a dime a dozen, but I do want to provide you with our team rules that make the software work for us. These are applicable to any team, regardless of what software that you might use to track.
1. Deadlines for every task
2. Assign people for every task
3. Clear instructions – all pieces needed to be collected and included in the actionable task
4. 24 hours to respond/feedback – verbal contract
5. Check inbox/task list daily
6. Team meeting, everyone has Asana up, entering own tasks in
7. No missed deadlines. A deadline is a deadline – verbal contract
8. ALWAYS ASSIGN TASKS BACK TO PERSON WHO HAS TO APPROVE COMPLETION
9. One system only – ditch the to do list on a notepad
If you can follow all these rules, you will experience full enlightenment (at least as far as your tasks go J).