Ok, so you’re productive and you get your stuff done. But Dave in creative department is busting your balls because he doesn’t deliver on time. What can you do? You’re in a bit of a bind. And in the end you’re probably the one getting the sticky end of the stick. In other words, you are left to clean out the mess because you didn’t follow up.

follow up clean up raunomerisalu

This is one of the hardest feats of getting anything done: the follow up. Basically, you have to remind yourself to follow up on tasks that you have delegated to other people. It sounds simple but when you delegate dozens of tasks sometimes they slip through the cracks and you end up in an uncomfortable situation.

Let’s take this to a task management level. You have promised to send a draft of a small marketing campaign to a client by the end of the week. You have a lot to delegate, a lot of things to put together. One of those tasks is to delegate the ad copywriting to Dave. Easy enough.

You have finished that task, mark it done, and move on. Three days later you realize that the task hasn’t been completed and you’re in a bind because a client is waiting and you’re missing something Dave promised to do by Wednesday. However, amongst all the client calls and your other tasks you forgot to follow up on Dave. Just great.

follow up calendar raunomerisalu

There could be a whole world behind why that task was not completed by Dave. Never underestimate the power of bad delegation. But I assume you’re perfect at everything you do and will put this aside.

I’ve found that there are two possible solutions to this problem, I use both interchangibly and it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to the end result.

1) To be able to track everything you do, the best way is to create two separate tasks. One of which is the task where you delegate the ad copywriting to Dave. The other one is to remind yourself to follow up on that task. In most task management systems you can set a scheduled task to do just that. In two days, remind yourself that you need to follow up on it.

2) The other way is to just change the task as you move forward. Instead of having delegate copywriting to Dave, you simply change it to follow up. This way you already have all the notes that you might have inserted into your task available but you only change the name and schedule it to show up in two days.

What’s your way of reminding yourself to follow up on delegated tasks?

February 5th, 2014

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4 Comments

  • Robert Macklyn says:

    Task management is one such part of our life which if not taken into proper consideration may lead to procrastination. To avoid the same all in this contemporary world look out for a better approach to get it done up with ease. Certain approaches in the segment well doesn’t work but there are certain that looks quite better than other practically.

    Personally I liked coming across this post and spending a sort of time which means a lot more to me in terms of getting my things done and also staying organized and well planned. I personally depends on the task management tools as I think that its the best way to get ahead with. Upon situation where I don’t even find a way to sort out the problem with, the tool is one such approach that helps me get specific in the segment.

    • Rauno Merisalu says:

      Thanks for your input Robert. I don’t quite understand what your point is though. Maybe you’d like to elaborate a bit?

      • Robert Macklyn says:

        Its something I wanna say that a support on the task management does make sense in a better way to achieve the desired goal. The support could be of any type either an online task management tool or a person who will be taking care of that particular task which is being assigned to him/her.

        • Rauno Merisalu says:

          Thanks for the input. I think that the kind of support you’re talking about is most of the time excessive. People vary in ways of tracking their tasks and unless you’re in an organization that has a task management system in place (Asana or some bugtracker) then this would be imposing your way of working on other people. Most of the time that is not a good idea.

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