Getting things done is hard. Getting them done on time is even more difficult. Here are four techniques I use to get things moving at work:
Get the pain out early.
People love to procrastinate. If you are going to procrastinate, push off the things you know for sure you can get done quickly. Do the painful things as quickly as you can. Why? Most often the reason a task is hard is that it involves invention or uncertainty. Getting the uncertainty out of a project or making the leap early clears the way for a smooth path for the rest of the project.
Break work down to half-day units.
One of the best ways to ensure work ships is to break work down to the smallest task you can. At WorkHere we try to make sure that our tasks can be done in a single morning or afternoon… with a heavy bias for work where 3-4 tasks can be completed per half day. The result is really astounding: big projects become little and team members start seeing similarities in work and finding ways to template tasks. It also prevents us from taking too many moonshots.
Make sure everyone gets the ball.
If you are a leader, delegate and then delegate more. Use your team. You really don’t have to take every shot. If you are a team member, share the ball. Leverage talent and use your SMEs. With marketing, there’s rarely a campaign that comes up where a generalist can do everything. Basketball is a great analogy. If you are 5′ 10″ you might just want to pass instead of taking a jump shot over a 7’2″ center.
Use Meetings as Forcing Functions
One of the best ways to make sure things are getting done is to have people show their work at routine meetings. If you do this, be clear with exactly what needs to be presented.