Most work can be boiled down to two things: new ideas (founding new companies, strategy, structuring) and execution (transforming the ideas into reality, either by doing the work yourself or by having others doing that for you). The latter is called delegation, and it might be one of the most complicated and difficult things to master. On the other hand, delegation is an activity with the potential to act like a multiplier: successful delegation allows you to do way more than you could ever do on your own.
One of the hard things with delegation is keeping track of the work and making sure it gets done. Here are a couple of things I'm doing to keep on top of it:
- Email. I delegate a lot of work by email, and I have found that Boomerang is the best way to help me with that. It automatically returns unanswered emails back to my inbox after a set amount of time and I can't live without it.
- 1:1 notes. If we're talking about a delegated project, I'm adding it to my 1:1 talking points. The weekly meeting is a perfect time to review the status of those bigger projects.
- Use your task manager. Checking in with someone about a task is something a task manager is perfect for, so for things discussed outside email or something else I really need to keep my eye on, I'm using OmniFocus. I simply add a task like “check in regarding X”.
It boils down to having a system to to check in on delegated work. Just like things you need to do yourself, make sure to never store this stuff in your head ever again.
It helps to figure out what kind of things you delegate the most and build a system around that which requires the least amount of steps.