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8 Tasks You Should Be Delegating

8 Tasks You Should Be Delegating

Recent studies have shown that multitasking isn’t just bad for your productivity, but also your intelligence. A study at the University of London found that IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

In other words, every time you send an email whilst on a conference call, you’re severely damaging your cognitive ability. If there’s ever been an excuse to start doing less, this is it. It’s better for you and better for your business.

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Here are eight tasks you should be delegating:

1. Diary Management

Anyone who leads a hectic lifestyle will know that the only way to succeed and remain sane is to have a well organised diary, but that takes time and careful consideration. It’s not just a case of packing every hour of every day with meetings and phone calls, you need to factor in travelling time, preparation time, level of importance and personal considerations. Handing over your diary to a personal assistant is instantly more efficient and stress-relieving.

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2. Research

Research can be interesting and important, but few entrepreneurs have the time to wade through all the irrelevant information that clogs up the web. Asking someone to help out with preliminary research filters out anything unnecessary so that you receive and read only the best bits. Plus you can assign someone to keep tabs on a particular industry development so that you stay informed on what’s happening without having to do the leg work.

3. Social Media

Social media is an all-consuming job. To stay on top of all the different platforms, latest trends, updates and customer interaction, you need to be constantly active and innovative. Most small businesses lack the expertise to do social media really well, which results in an ineffective and even damaging strategy. Considering that social media is probably the largest influencer now on customers and potential clients, it’s worth investing in the help of a professional. Plus it means you don’t have to keep constantly racking your brains for something original to post on Instagram.

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4. Accounting

Keeping a company’s or your own personal accounts in order is absolutely vital, but requires patience and again, time. Plus if you’re not clued up on numbers and the most recent regulations or you’re rushing through to get it finished, you risk doing it wrong and facing stiff consequences. You’re much better to hand over the burden to someone else, who can handle the day to day dealings and can keep you advised on anything important that’s going on.

5. Event Planning

Whether a new product launch, office drinks, wedding or children’s birthday party, event planning is one of the most stressful tasks we handle professionally and personally, especially if we’re trying to squeeze it in around everything else that’s going on in our lives. Delegating doesn’t have to mean relinquishing all control, it just means allowing someone else to chase the caterers, book the venue and post the invitations. When it’s a roaring success, you reap the glory.

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6. Personal Admin

This includes pretty much anything that’s necessary to keep your life on track from finding a babysitter, booking a gym class, a restaurant, a hotel, a massage, returning an item of clothing, sending flowers or doing the online weekly shop. Essentially all the things that put a pause on the momentum of our day. Imagine if you never had to do all that reserving, calling and emailing but for once, you got to just enjoy yourself instead?

7. Formatting

We waste hours playing around with the formatting of a document, presentation or booklet to make it look vaguely presentable when we could just be sending the information across to someone else who can make it look amazing in half the time. It will save you the frustration and could dramatically improve your’s and your company’s image.

8. Filing

Filing seems like such a small task to handle, but actually takes up a huge amount of your time, particularly if you’re the kind of person who pushes it all to one side “to do later”. Delegate to someone who can stay on top of it; you’ll thank yourself later.

Featured photo credit: Damien Zaleski via unsplash.com

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Richard Walton

Founder of AVirtual

Boost your creativity, be more productive Hitchhiker by Atlas Green Why asking for help isn’t the same as giving in The Secret to Productivity: Work Less, Get More Done Clearing the office to clear the mind 8 Tasks You Should Be Delegating

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

Let me guess.

You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

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The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

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5. Take It Outside!

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

6. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

9. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

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10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

11. Set-up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

13. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

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14. Ready Your Nibbles

You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

15. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

Reference

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