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Get more done using the 4Ds

A new season and a new approach. You feel the need to get more done. And every new season most people think “I’m not going to make the same mistakes. This time I’m going to get more done.”.

One mistake that most managers make is to do everything themselves. This may be because you may know how to do things, so it is quicker to do it yourself. Or maybe you have a need for control where it has to be as if you did it yourself. So therefore it is best to also do it yourself. That is, you are the best man for the job.

It may also be that in the line organization you have pushed up all the responsibilities so that they are overloaded at the top. The scheme of delegation or other governing documents state that the “boss” should have the final say in most things. This makes it difficult to find time to do all the other things that need to be done and that really require your skills.

Get more done by categorizing the activities

The solution to getting rid of things is called delegation. You already know that word, but it’s so difficult to achieve for many people. For the reasons mentioned above, everything falls on you.

For each activity you get to do, place them in a classic four-bar chart.

  • Important – Requires me and my skills
  • Important – Can be done by someone else
  • Important, but not right now
  • Not important
Not important

Start at the bottom of the list. Anything that is not essential to achieve your goal and your purpose should not be done at all. Throw it away, remove it, forget it. Make sure that such activities do not come in to you and your colleagues again. You must stop the inflow! Otherwise, you will be stuck dealing with these issues over and over again.

Even if you get good at identifying these unimportant activities and then not doing them, it disrupts your flow. Better to filter them out early.

Important, but not right now

Number three above, what is important, but not right now. Set them aside. Put them under surveillance.

Either grab them when you are scheduled to go through the watch list. They might then become a category one or two, but they are not there now.

This is where scheduling for monitoring is useful, allowing you to be proactive. Otherwise, there is an imminent risk that you will end up doing only emergency activities. You want to be one step ahead, to feel that you are in control of the situation.

Important – Can be done by someone else

The second point above, where you are not required to do the activity, make sure you delegate it to someone else. If this person is not currently as competent as you to do the task, you need to invest time in getting rid of these activities. If you don’t take the time now, you will be in exactly the same position the next time a similar activity comes up.

You need to invest time in your own ability to stay focused and keep the business flowing. It doesn’t if you are a slowpoke or constantly need to overwork and/or slack off on execution, so you have so much to accomplish in a short time.

Important – Requires me and my skills

Then only the number one activities are left. These are the activities that only you, in your role and perhaps your position, can do. You have the experience and skills required for the job. Well, that’s your job.

You have now greatly reduced your workload and you get to do the activities you are meant to do. It reduces your stress considerably. This increases the quality of the results you get, because you don’t have to rush through them just because you are so busy.

In English, 4D: Delete, Delay, Delegate, or Do.

So take these 4Ds with you in your future work. Make a plan to achieve the delegate point, as it is important to build a long-term sustainable working climate for you. Get more done.

With that, I wish you good luck in your future work.