Basic GTD: Delegate itAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
Delegating is one of the options you have when you are processing or clarifying what the things you’ve been capturing in your GTD system mean. To get to delegate something, first you have been following this process:
- You have clearly stated what that you have collected really is.
- You have determined that it is indeed necessary to do something.
- You have established exactly what should be the next action needed to achieve that result.
- And you’ve come to the conclusion that, for whatever reason (skills, time available, cost, etc.), you are not the best person to do this step action.
Sometimes, delegating something is not so obvious. It may be that something you are going to do requires previous approval from your boss. It may be that, before doing something, you want to know what your partner thinks about it. In both cases, we are talking about delegating.
Nor is it clear when you are not talking about individuals but entities or organizations. When you submit the version 2.0.10 of your mobile app to Apple for reviewing and publishing, or when you are waiting for your bank to send you a new credit card, you are also delegating.
David Allen emphasizes that you should always delegate in a systematic format, which is none other than the usual and standard for each situation (sending an email, having a real-time conversation, using the appropiate channel within the company, etc.)
If you could use several channels to delegate an action, you should give priority to email or other asynchronous digital systems that you may have agreed with your collaborators. This way, the conversation keeps electronically recorded and receivers can answer at their own convenience, without being interrupted.
Following the same reasoning, the actual conversation is the less convenient channel at the time of delegating: is a disruption in the work of both parts and nothing gets recorded. This does not mean that later, meeting up regularly with your colleague is not an efficient way to keep track of the work done.
When you delegate an action, you should put it on the Waiting For list to keep track during your regular reviews, indicating when it was delegated and who is the responsible—person or entity—of getting it done.