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Articles to Help You Be More Productive

Enjoy these articles? There are many more available:
  • Time Management Article Collection
  • Microsoft Outlook and Email Article Collection
  • Managing Paper Article Collection
  • Computer Tips Article Collection
  • Less-Paper Office Article Collection
  • Computer & Email
  • Get the Most from Microsoft Outlook

  • Beware the Empty Inbox

  • Get the Most from Your Handheld

  • Do Digital Organizers Save Time - Or Waste It?

  • Efficient E-mail Habits

  • Transitioning from Paper to Digital Information Storage

  • Faxing Without a Fax Machine

  • Getting Your Files When You're On The Go

  • Business & the Office
  • Time Tactics for the Office

  • Keeping Track of Delegated Tasks

  • Controlling Interruptions

  • Keeping Track of Your Customers & Prospects

  • Do Your Employees Really Need Customer Service Training?

  • Paper Management
  • Action Files Prevent Desk Clutter

  • Reclaim Your Desktop with a Tickler File

  • What To Do With All Those Business Cards?

  • Managing Project Folders - A Surprising Tip that Works

  • Time Management & Organizing
  • The Power of Planning Ahead

  • Words of Wisdom You Should Ignore

  • Coping with Information Overload

  • Thirteen No-Tech Time Management Tips

  • Keeping Track of Delegated Tasks
    © Jan Jasper; 2001-2012

    If you delegate tasks to people and need some help remembering what's due when, try keeping records on a form such as the one below. If you have trouble getting your staff to meet their deadlines, setting a date for an Interim Checkpoint reminds you to check in with them to see how it's going and make sure the task is being handled. If you learn of a problem early, you can take corrective action before it's too late.

    Seeing Patterns and Learning from Recurring Issues

    The "If Late, Why?" column is a place to jot down problems that come up. Over time patterns will emerge, revealing issues you didn't even know about. Once you know the root cause of a problem you can begin to solve it. For example, you may find that certain team members habitually underestimate how long things take, or they don't plan ahead. It could be that people are given inadequate or wrong information and are either afraid to ask for help - or don't know they need to! An unreliable vendor may be causing projects to be consistently late. Perhaps you didn't have buy-in from some key people. When you keep records over time about why things are late, you can learn some surprising - and very useful - information about the root causes.

    Delegating Tasks with Microsoft Outlook

    If you prefer to use the computer rather than paper, Microsoft Outlook's "Assign Task" feature (it's on the Ribbon at the top of the screen) lets you assign Tasks with due dates. When you create the Task, you can check a box that will make the Task appear on your Task list as well. There's another box you can check if you want to receive an email when the person you delegated to marks the Task status Complete. You can also assign the Task to a Category, as with any other Outlook item. You fill in the Task details and the email of the person you're delegating to, then you save and close the Task, that person automatically receives an email. Once they accept the Task, it will appear on their Task list with the due date you assigned. As for the other information on the form shown above such as "Comments" and "If late, why?," Outlook Tasks has no fields for those, but you can type your own notes in the Task's comment box.

    This article is available for a one-time reprint or one-time internet posting if you include my copyright notice, provide a link to www.janjasper.com and identify me as follows: "Jan Jasper, a productivity expert in the New York City area, is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press)." Read Terms and Conditions for details.


    About the Author: Productivity coach Jan Jasper has been helping busy people work smarter, not harder since 1988. Her customized approach guides clients to manage time, tasks, and information more effectively. She also provides Microsoft Outlook customization for clients. Jan is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press). She recently completed a North American media tour as the national efficiency spokesperson for IKON Office Solutions, Inc. She has appeared on radio and TV all over North America and is quoted regularly in print. Jan is an adjunct instructor at New York University.

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